CESH Conference 2023 | People in Professional and Leisure Sports - the Passion for Sport in view of Changing Life and Career Paths in Sports History

Date: 4th - 6th of October 2023 | Venue: German Sport University, Cologne, Germany.

The 26th annual conference of the European Committee for Sports History (CESH) will be hosted by the German Sport University Cologne from 4th to 6th October 2023. It is jointly organised by the Institute of European Sport Development and Leisure Studies and by the Institute of Sport History under the responsibility of Univ.-Prof. Dr. Jürgen Mittag and Univ.-Prof. Dr Stephan Wassong.

The conference will focus on people who, as individuals or collectives, are the central actors of sport. In the light of a multidimensional and multidisciplinary approach, the conference aims both to take a closer look at the biographical change of professional athletes, officials or coaches as types and personalities of professional sports, and to shed light on the evolution of their environment considering changing fields of activity and profession. 

At the same time, the focus of the conference is also on changes in recreational sports and the question of the extent to which changes are emerging in people's lives and frameworks.

Based on social and cultural-historical approaches, the conference will deal with the many facets of athletes. This includes changing sporting activities in childhood and adolescence as well as educational and career paths. Of particular interest are studies on the portrayal of everyday lives of professional athletes in different sports, differences and similarities between male and female athletes, and questions of social and political representation of athletes. This includes specific target groups such as students, people with disabilities, and minorities.   

The conference also strives to consider the darker side of sports development, such as athletes' problems with health, safety, discrimination, and addiction, as well as lack of well-being in historical change. In this context, there is also the question of the emergence and change of initiatives of national and international sports organizations to create a safer and ethical sports environment.

Finally, there is a request to address academic approaches to people in sport: which approaches, concepts, and methods can be used to more closely capture individuals and collectives and linkages with the changing environments in sport.   

The 2023 CESH conference is thus aimed at both sport historians and researchers in related disciplines in the fields of politics, sociology, psychology, performance, development and management, and physical education.


Accreditation possible as of 1st of May, 2023.