The World Games 2025: Chengdu Can Do!

The World Games 2025: Chengdu Can Do!

Competition Managers and Coordinating Committee meetings in preparation for The World Games

The main outcomes:

  • Broad agreement reached on the 25 sports facilities for TWG 2025 at the Competition Managers’ Meeting in Chengdu, China.

  • Agreement on upcoming milestones on the Road to Chengdu achieved at the Coordinating Committee Meeting in the host city.

  • IWGA Executive Committee Meeting: Elections to the Athletes’ Committee during TWG 2025.

The countdown is on: 650 days before the start of The World Games 2025 in Chengdu, China, José Perurena, President of the International World Games Association (IWGA), formulated the expectations for the 12th edition of the multi-sport event from 7th to 17th August: "The line between Olympic and non-Olympic sports is starting to blur. We need an extra push, and want to present our Games to the world at near Olympic standards." He expressed more than confidence that the city of 21 million people in south-west China would live up to these high expectations. José Perurena: "Chengdu can do!"

President Perurena said this during a four-day preparatory meeting held in the capital city of Sichuan Province. From 24-27 October, competition managers from the 35 sports on the Games programme met for the first time in the host city. After the two-day session, the members of the IWGA Executive Committee and staff worked together with the preparation team of the host city on a ‘road map’ for the coming months. During the subsequent meeting of the IWGA Executive Committee, the members evaluated the results of the conferences.

Vice Governor Yang Xingping: Chengdu will deliver

Chen Yanfu, Deputy Secretary of the Chengdu Municipal Committee, said at the opening dinner of the meet: "We will make The World Games in Chengdu a wonderful example of developing new sports and promoting a modern sports culture." Wang Qian, Deputy Mayor of Chengdu, delivered the welcome address from the host city at the opening of the Competition Managers’ Meeting. Yang Xingping, Vice Governor of Sichuan Province, assured the IWGA delegates that Chengdu will live up to the high expectations for the 12th edition of the TWG.

Competitions Managers’ Meeting

The focus of the Competitions Managers’ Meeting on 24th and 25th October in Chengdu was the inspection of the possible sports venues for the 35 sports, with a total of approximately 60 disciplines and 230+ medal events during the Games. After the on-site visits, IWGA Sports Director Sebastian Garvens stated: "Basically, we have found a venue for each sport that meets the requirements set by the competition managers of our federations, but some need further review on technical details. A total of 25 venues will be used by the approximately 5,000 participants from more than 100 nations during the eleven days of competition in August 2025.

Changes in individual cases are possible. "But these changes only mean that we are exchanging a good competition venue for an even better one," said Sebastian Garvens. In principle, it was also agreed to use a hotel complex near Tianfu Airport for an Athletes’ Village. The opening and closing ceremonies will take place at the Dong'an Lake Sports Park Stadium; this brand new arena was the venue for the impressive ceremonies at the FISU World University Games in Chengdu this summer.

In addition to visiting the competition venues, the first Competition Managers’ Meeting served to introduce the IWGA Service Partners during the Games: ISB (International Sport Broadcasting), as the official host broadcaster again, will  produce and distribute the images for the TWG. The official timing, scoring, results and accreditation services will be delivered by Swiss Timing, a long-time partner of the IWGA. Sword Venue supports the organizers in the detailed planning of the venues through their innovative venue design software. FICS will again offer free chiropractic care to athletes and officials.

Zhong Haiyan, Deputy Head of the Competition Coordination Group of Chengdu, informed about the state of preparation in the host city. Sebastian Garvens stated the demands on the federations during the qualification phase that is now beginning. IWGA Head of Communications Anna Jacobson described how the federations' media departments and the Competition Managers can support the public relations work on the Road to Chengdu.

Coordinating Committee Meeting

The Coordinating Committee (CoCom) for the 2025 Games also met for the first time in Chengdu, on 26th October. The CoCom brings together the top tiers of the IWGA and the host city. They review the results of work done during the preparations, and determine further courses of action on the road to Chengdu. IWGA President José Perurena kicked off the challenges: "Seven of our sports here on the programme in Chengdu 2025 will be represented at the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles too. We need to build a stage for them as well as all the other sports at levels that justify these nominations."

For the host city, Zhang Ruiqin, Deputy Head of the Preparatory Working Group of TWG 2025 Chengdu, assured everyone that the Games will meet all expectations. She stated that the city had already proven its competence as a host city with the organisation of the FISU Games and the World Police and Fire Games, as well as the Table Tennis World Championships and the ATP tournament in Tennis this year. The city wants to use this experience to organise The World Games at the highest level. The organisers can rely on the support of the Chinese Olympic Committee (COC), which was represented at the meeting by its Secretary Director Wang Kan. He reconfirmed that TWG 2025 will be under the patronage of the COC, as decided by the Minister of Sports.

For the IWGA, CEO Joachim Gossow moderated the inaugural meeting, which was chaired by José Perurena. The host city delegation was led by Xian Rongsheng, a member of the Standing Committee of the Chengdu Municipal Committee. At the end, Xian Rongsheng summarised the results for the Chengdu preparation team. He announced that in the future, about 350 people will be involved in the preparation of the Games for the host city.

The IWGA representatives made it clear that the establishment soon of a Local Organising Committee (LOC) is a crucial requirement. Furthermore, they agreed to define the respective counterparts in the respective entities for the individual tasks. In addition, the final agreement on the sports facilities will be reached in the coming days. The final details of the sports programme still need to be clarified; after that, work on the timetable for the Games can begin. The competition days per sport and discipline will be known by the end of the year. This is also connected with the basic planning of the TV production.

All deadlines for further preparations should be set by the end of the year. One of the most important milestones on the Road to Chengdu will be the second and final Competition Managers’ Meeting in October 2024.

Executive Committee Meeting

The IWGA Executive Committee session concluded the four-day meeting in Chengdu. Sandra Sanchéz, Head of the interim IWGA Athletes’ Committee, presented the plans for further work. At the 2025 Games, the athletes are to be given the opportunity to elect their own spokespersons. Work has already begun to clarify all the details. The necessary change to the constitution has to be approved by the Assembly in May 2024 at the IWGA Annual General Meeting. The IWGA appointed the members of the provisional Athletes’ Committee at the beginning of the year in order to ensure that the athletes have a say in the election of the first official committee; The World Games winner and Olympic champion in Karate, Sandra Sanchez from Spain, leads this panel.

During the meeting, the members also evaluated the outcomes of the meetings in Chengdu. President Perurena expressed his satisfaction that an agreement in principle could be reached on the sports venues, and on what needs to happen next. He also noted that he had received positive feedback from many competition managers. At the same time, he urged adherence to agreed deadlines: "650 days sounds like plenty of time. But our experience says that this time goes faster than you think. We cannot afford any more detours on the road to Chengdu. Due to the pandemic and the postponement of The World Games in USA Birmingham, USA, from 2021 to 2022, a year is missing in the preparation. But what gives me confidence is that in Chengdu, we are working with an experienced team. Our federations now know the challenges associated with our event, and on our side we have an efficient team that knows its tasks."

 The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association, organised with the support of the International Olympic Committee. The World Games 2022 was held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 7-17 July 2022. 3,600 athletes from 34 sports and 100 countries took part in the Games. The 12th edition of The World Games will be held in Chengdu, CHN, 7-17 August 2025.