This year’s Annual General Meeting set the path for the future of the International World Games Association. Here are the headlines: elections of the new board, announcement of the sports programme for The World Games 2021, a redesigned logo launched.
President José Perurena and his New Team
José Perurena (International Canoe Federation) will serve as IWGA President for his second four-year term, until 2022. The delegates of the 37 member federations also re-elected Max Bishop (World Air Sports Federation) as Vice President and Lukas Hinder (World DanceSport Federation) as Treasurer at the Annual General Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.
Anna Arzhanova (World Underwater Federation) will continue as a member of the Executive Committee after being elected in 2014 for the first time. Volker Bernardi (World Flying Disc Federation), Antonio Espinós (World Karate Federation) and Jan Fransoo (International Korfball Federation) come in as new members. Tom Dielen (World Archery) and Fumio Morooka (World Flying Disc Federation) stepped down from office. José Perurena thanked the two members who retired for their contribution to the success and development of The World Games.
Thirty Sports for TWG 2021
The official Sports Programme for The World Games 2021 in Birmingham, Alabama comprises 30 sports. Compared to The World Games 2017, Kickboxing, Softball and Racquetball are new on the roster. Floorball, which had its debut in 2017, will again be in the schedule of the event, to be held in the period 15 – 25 July 2021. The official Sports Programme was published at the Annual General Meeting on Monday.
The announcement of the sports has been the first step on the way to creating a timetable for the 11th edition of The world Games. CEO Joachim Gossow and Sebastian Riediger, Head of IF and Games Services, will confirm with each federation which disciplines from each sport will be part of the programme. The detailed list with all sports and disciplines will be announced shortly.
The World Games Athlete of the Year Awarded
One of the most pleasant duties for IWGA President José Perurena was to present the award of The World Games Athlete of the Year 2017 to Speed Climber Reza Alipourzenashandifar from Iran.
On behalf of the winner of this year’s voting, Marco Maria Scolaris, President of the International Federation of Sport Climbing received the trophy, dedicated to the athlete who won the first Gold Medal ever for Iran at The World Games. José Perurena did have the opportunity to honour the powerlifter Larysa Soloviova from Ukraine personally. The runner-up in this year’s voting for the best athletes of The World Games was present at the Annual General Meeting, and received not only a commemorative plate but also the applause of the delegates from the 37 member federations. With Soloviova's comprehensive victory at Wroclaw 2017, she became a quadruple gold medalist in The World Games, the Ukrainian national anthem having previously been played in arenas in Germany (2005), Chinese Taipei (2009) and Colombia (2013). Both candidates gathered more than 90,000 votes (90,790 and 90,036). The Athlete (or Team) of the Year was elected by online voting by supporters and friends of The World Games throughout January.
The World Games Logo Rebranded
A new design for the The World Games logo was launched at the AGM on Monday. The logo still shows the “W” but in a more modern style. It was created by JayKay-Designs, the company responsible for design for the IWGA. The new logo can be seen on The World Games webpage and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It will be used on all flags, roll-ups and advertisements in the future.
Paralympic Sports on The World Games Programme
Wheelchair Basketball and Wheelchair Rugby have been named on the invitational sports programme for The World Games 2021 in Birmingham, Alabama. For the first time in The World Games’ 40 years history, the Games will welcome athletes in wheelchairs to compete in the same arenas and venues as able-bodied athletes.
DJ Mackovets and his team started work on the concept to bring para sports into The World Games in the autumn of 2017. “Birmingham is a very active host for paralympic athletes. The facilities of the Lakeshore Foundation have been an official training facility for the American Olympic and Paralympic Committees for a long time. We have established a long-standing relationship with paralympic sport,” says Mackovets. “People in our city are very used to watching wheelchair rugby and wheelchair basketball because the Lakeshore Foundation has a long history in the community. It would be a shame not to use the expertise and legacy that already exists in Birmingham to feature these athletes in the Games. We want to make sure that the athletes experience a great time in Birmingham. The IWGA has fully embraced the concept.”