The Team behind The World Games

The Team behind The World Games

Small - but highly efficient

The centre stage at The World Games belongs to the athletes. But who will ensure that the best of their sport are the ones in the spotlight at The World Games 2021 in Birmingham, Alabama? The World Games staff is currently working on this together with the Birmingham Organising Committee.

The International World Games Association (IWGA) is led by the Executive Committee, with President José Perurena, Vice President Max Bishop and Treasurer Lukas Hinder as well as four other board members. CEO Joachim Gossow and General Manager Chantal Boehi attend the Executive Committee meetings.

Joachim Gossow has been the CEO of the IWGA family since 2010. Based in Duisburg, Germany, he was IWGA Sports Director from 2007 onwards. His first experience with The World Games was in the preparation of the 2005 Games in Duisburg, when he successfully led the Sports Department.

General Manager Chantal Boehi from Switzerland is based at the IWGA Headquarters in Lausanne. She took over responsibility for managing the IWGA office in 2015, following the transfer of the office from Colorado Springs in the USA to the Olympic capital. She previously worked in sports administration in the city of Lausanne, and gained experience there in event management.

Sebastian Riediger has been part of the Team of The World Games since 2017 after graduating as Master in International Sports Management. The Head of IF and Games Services completed an internship at the IWGA in summer 2016 and supported the staff at The World Games 2017. He has also developed the concept for integrating Para Sports into the programme of The World Games. Sebastian Riediger maintains contact with the 37 member associations, because only close cooperation with the associations guarantees that the athletes will find optimal conditions for their competitions.

Hagen Bossdorf, an experienced TV expert based in Berlin, is working part-time as TV & Marketing Coordinator. Hagen Bossdorf was already involved with The World Games in the run-up to the 2013 Games in Cali, Colombia. He developed The World Games Channel and, in cooperation with IWGA partner Lagardere Sports, was responsible for TV production and the international marketing of The World Games 2017.

A little anecdote may explain his enthusiasm for The World Games: Because he was not accredited for The World Games 2009 - at that time on behalf of a marketing agency - he bought his own tickets for individual competitions. The enthusiasm of the people in Chinese Taipei and the fascination of the sports themselves aroused his interest in making the brand The World Games better known.

Philipp Doering from Berlin is the Video Manager for The World Games. He cuts videos for The World Games Channel and for social media. He was also instrumental in the last stages of building up the archive.

Anna Jacobson has led The World Games Communication department part-time since 2017. From autumn 2015 she had been responsible for The World Games social media. In less than a year, the Finn increased the number of Facebook followers of The World Games from just over 2,000 to more than 10,000, and now more than 15,000 sports fans on Facebook are interested in the event, and The World Games can also be followed on Instagram and Twitter.

Press work, as well as the internet presence and cooperation with the media offices of the Birmingham 2021 organisers and the international federations, are also part of Jacobson's tasks. Her first World Games was the 9th edition in Cali, Colombia, in 2013, when she was on site for the International Orienteering Federation. She is also a proven anti-doping expert. A little anecdote about Anna Jacobson: she led the daily press conferences in Wroclaw, where she spoke fluently at one of the first briefings, at which the task of correctly pronouncing the name of the Iranian gold medal winner and IWGA athlete of the year, Reza Alipourshenazandifar, was achieved effortlessly and naturally.

Anna Jacobson is supported by the German Hermann Kewitz, Clive Allen and Brian Salmon. Hermann Kewitz has, together with Joachim Gossow, the most World Games under his belt. The graduate journalist headed the media department of the 7th edition in Duisburg in 2005 and then changed sides. He was already working for the IWGA in 2009 in Kaohsiung. Hermann Kewitz is also in charge of The World Games Archive and the publications issued by the IWGA.

Clive Allen from Great Britain does the ‘language washing’ for The World Games, meaning that it is because of him that the English in our texts is correct and understandable.

Brian Salmon was one of the volunteers at The World Games 2017. He surprised everyone with his journalistic skills and incredible knowledge of the sports world, and has since been writing articles for The World Games on a voluntary basis.

  1. Not all members of the team have been introduced yet. Since 2012 IWGA has been working together with the agency Jay-Kay Design in Spain. John Caprez is responsible for all IT issues and has also programmed the IWGA website. He developed the technology behind the IGMS, the IWGA Games Management System, with all relevant information.  The design for all IWGA output is done by Kathy Lang  from Madrid. This also includes the Internet presence. Jay-Kay have also designed the new logo of The World Games.    

One member of the team is still missing: The Dutchman Co Koren volunteers for The World Games. Co Koren, as an official of the sport Tug-of-War, was present at The World Games 1981 in Santa Clara. For more than 25 years he served as General Secretary for the IWGA until he left office in 2010. Co Koren has supported The World Games in setting up the archive and developing the accreditation and results processes. He also chaired the Evaluation Commission during The World Games 2017 and is a member of The World Games 2025 Selection Commission. His knowledge and experience are invaluable.

About the team behind the scenes, Joachim Gossow says: "We are without doubt a small team for such a big event with so many different requirements. What sets us apart is that everyone is highly committed and motivated. Everyone contributes his or her expertise in the best possible way. This makes our work efficient and successful. From my point of view, it's not how many people work for an organisation, but that they are the right people." IWGA President José Perurena adds: "It is fun to work with our team. Because The World Games isn't just a job for anyone and because we can really rely on everyone."

 The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee. The 11th edition of The World Games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 15-25 July 2021. 3,600 athletes from over 30 sports and 100 countries will take part in the Games.

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