Founded in 1980, the International World Games Association (IWGA) is a non-governmental and non-profit-making international organization constituted under Swiss law. Made up of International Sports Federations, it administers a quadrennial and multidisciplinary sports event, The World Games, which aspires to equal and exceed the importance of world championships organized by each federation individually.
The principal aim of the IWGA is to develop the popularity of the sports governed by its Member Federations, to improve their prominence through excellent sporting achievements, and to conserve all the traditional values of sport through The World Games.
Since its founding meeting in Seoul, Korea, IWGA membership increased from 12 to currently 37 International Sports Federations (IFs). For IFs to become a Member of the IWGA, their membership with SportAccord (formerly General Association of International Sports Federations - GAISF) is prerequisite. The IWGA is a member of SportAccord and represented on its Council. Another requirement is that the sports, or disciplines of sports, proposed by the federations for inclusion in The World Games are not currently on the program of the Games of the Olympiad.
In the year following The World Games, the IWGA General Meeting elects a seven-member Executive Committee to a term of four years. This board coordinates and supervises all matters related to The World Games on behalf of the Member IFs. The board's tasks include making recommendations for the selection of suitable host cities and serving as the permanent liaison between the IWGA and the games' organizers.
Part of the Olympic Movement
The International World Games Association is an organization recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Affirming that IOC and IWGA share the same values of promoting physical and sporting activities for the well-being of society, the two organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2000. In this MoU the IOC pledges to maintain its cooperation with the IWGA, to provide expertise and to help in the promotion of IWGA activities within the Olympic Movement. The IOC also grants its patronage to the hosts of The World Games and provides the Local Organizing Committees with technical assistance through its knowledge management programs.
The IWGA is aware of the importance for athletes and officials in all sports to participate in The World Games as nationally representative delegations. To achieve that, the IOC encourages all National Olympic Committee to support and assist their multi-sport delegation taking part in the event.
By signing a cooperation agreement with the International World Games Association, the International Olympic Committee recognizes the important role The World Games play as a multi-sport event. In particular, this event provides participating athletes with the opportunity to join with their countrymen and countrywomen from other sports, in the Olympic spirit, and compete as part of a national team at the highest level.
Former IOC President
The new IOC President Dr. Thomas Bach expressed the idea of a close cooperation between IOC and IWGA.