International conference „The Impact of Sports on Children’s Well-Being: Nordic Experience”

2022 / 05 / 11

Venue of event:

Seimas, Gedimino pr. 53, Vilnius, Constitution Hall, Building 1 of the Seimas, 3rd floor

Time of event:

2022 / 05 / 11, 13.00- 17.00 hours


The conference aims to present the best practice of the Nordic countries on how organised sports affect children’s well-being and prevent children from early smoking, alcohol, and drug abuse with great success. In the Nordic countries, about 90 % of children attend sports clubs, while in Lithuania the proportion stands at less than 30 %. The Nordic experience shows how children’s sports effectively strengthen families and communities, promote volunteering, and build social capital.

The conference will cover the following topics: what benefits do children’s sports bring to children and society? How can we ensure that all children remain as healthy as possible, which is one of the tenets of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child? How can we ensure a safe and friendly environment in children’s sports? How should the national authorities, sports clubs, NGOs, and other stakeholders cooperate among themselves?

During the conference, the public entity „Football Club Ataka” and parental volunteers will present the initiative „Community Sports Leaders Training”, the first project on children’s sports following the Nordic lead in Lithuania.

During the discussion, Lithuanian politicians and sports representatives will consider the following questions: what direction should children’s sports take? What experiences of the Nordic countries would be beneficial for Lithuania? What instruments would create better
conditions for more children to engage in sports and enjoy improved well-being.

Conference programme:

13.00–13.15 Opening and welcome addresses
H.E. Ms Viktorija Čmilytė-Nilsen, Speaker of the Seimas
Ms Helén Nilsson, Director of the Nordic Council of Ministers Office in Lithuania
H.E. Mr Ole Terje Horpestand, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Norway to Lithuania

13.15–14.45 Keynote speeches (Part I)

  • „93% of children joyfully participate in sports in Norway: how do we achieve that?” Mr Mads Andreassen, Head of Sports Activity within the Sport for All and Development Department, Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports
  • „Children’s organised sports in Oslo: children empowerment and community strength” Mr Thor-Erik Stenberg, CEO of KFUM-Kameratene Oslo, Norway
  • „Impact of sports on children’s well-being: parental volunteering in sports” Mr Donatas Tvarijonas, Director of the Football Club ‘Ataka’

14.45–15.00 Coffee break

15.00–16.00 Keynote speeches (Part II)

  • „Role of parental volunteers in Danish children’s sports” Mr Aurelijus Skarbalius, Manager of HB Koge, Denmark
  • „Added value of physical literacy for increasing the involvement of children in sports” Mr Kasparas Šileikis, Head of Olympic Education Programmes at the National Olympic Committee of Lithuania
  • „Empowering children and young people through sports in rural areas” Mr Arminas Vareika, Manager of the programme ‘Youth Can’

16.00–17.00 Panel discussion
How to involve more children in sports in Lithuania and to ensure their well-being through sports?
Mr Virgilijus Alekna, Chair of the Commission for Youth and Sport Affairs of the Seimas
Mr Linas Obcarskas, Vice-Minister of Education, Science and Sport
Mr Valdas Benkunskas, Deputy Mayor at Vilnius City Municipality
Prof. Rimantas Kėvalas, Head of the Pediatric Department, Hospital of Lithuanian University of Health Sciences ‘Kauno klinikos’
Representative of the academic community
Prof. Vilma Čingienė, Institute of Management and Political Sciences, Mykolo Romerio University

Live streaming of the Conference will be available: