WLO’s newest international initiative, the World Leisure Day (WL Day), was commemorated for the first time in history last April 16th. WL Day aims to reinforce leisure as a social right and its importance in daily life, as well as to expand its possibilities of manifestation and promote reflection on the accesses and barriers that still exist for many people around the world.

For the organization of this first edition, whose main theme was “Leisure for a Better Life”, we counted on the great support of our Brazilian partners from the WLCEs of the University of São Paulo, SESC (Social Service of Commerce) and LAGEL (Laboratory of Management of Leisure Experiences). The World Leisure Centers of Excellence network, local Brazilian institutions and organizations from the Latin American region were also part of this working team, constituted by capable young people and committed faculty members.

Since it was held in a hybrid format, World Leisure Day could be celebrated in every corner of the globe, thus breaking down the mobility and travel barriers COVID-19 has created. 42 organizations and thousands of participants from 20 countries got involved in all the activities we carried out related to arts and culture, tourism and travel, sports and physical education, health and wellbeing, etc.

The WL Day was launched in a special event that took place on March 26th, 2021, through an online debate about the importance of the World Leisure Day, with the participation of Dr. Ricardo Uvinha (from the WL Center for Excellence at the University of São Paulo – USP), Dr. Cristina Ortega (Chief Operating Officer of the WLO), Dr. Antonio Carlos Bramante (LAGEL), Mr. Anderson Dalbone (National Department of Sesc). The webinar was moderated by Ms. Maria Luiza Souza Dias (Sesc São Paulo). It was broadcasted on Youtube.com/sescsp in Portuguese, which can be found here. The event gathered over 500 real time viewers through the different platforms where the event was streamed.

This initiative was originally designed as a pilot project. Given its success and repercussion, we are very pleased to announce that it will be running again next year, and we hope to do so for many years from now.