A smart look into the future on the 40th anniversary of IWGA: for the first time in 40 years, the International World Games Association has held an official Executive Committee (ExCo) meeting virtually. Important topics of the video conference, chaired by IWGA President José Perurena, were the effects of the Corona crisis on The World Games and the planning for the future of the Association and the event.
The ExCo members reaffirmed the decision to postpone the 11th edition of TWG in Birmingham, Alabama by one year to 2022. CEO Joachim Gossow reported that the new date also opens up new opportunities. The Birmingham Organising Committee is holding out the prospect that the new stadium in the city will be available by then, as a venue for events such as the opening and closing ceremonies.
In addition, there might be other attractive facilities available as venues for the competitions. CEO Joachim Gossow considered it crucial for the success of the Games in the USA that ISB as host broadcaster, and Swiss Timing as timekeeper and responsible for accreditation, have made firm commitments for TWG in 2022.
IWGA Treasurer Lukas Hinder emphasised that the additional financial expenditure due to the postponement was manageable. He informed the ExCo about the planned adjustments to the budgets for the period until 2022.
The new financial framework will be presented to the 37 Member Federations at the Annual General Meeting on 6 November 2020 in Lausanne. The IWGA Executive Board agreed to stick to this date, regardless of the further course of the pandemic.
"We plan to meet at the IF Forum in Lausanne, Switzerland but hosting the AGM virtually is also an option," said IWGA President José Perurena.
He stated as well that the changed situation has no impact on the preparations for the 12th edition of The World Games in Chengdu, PRC. It has been agreed, together with the responsible officials in Chengdu, to stick to the planned schedule regardless of the postponement of the Games in Birmingham, Al.
In addition, the IWGA is now working on the preparation of the bidding process for the Games after 2025, based on the strategy paper developed by ExCo members Jan Fransoo and Antonio Espinos for the future direction of the IWGA. "We consider it necessary to keep the bidding process for the Games after 2025 more flexible, and not to make any specifications with regard to the time frame," said Fransoo. "The principle of sustainability and a lean organisation has been valid for us since the foundation of the IWGA in 1980. These principles have proven themselves especially now, in the period of the Corona crisis. Together with our partners in Birmingham, we were able to react comparatively swiftly and without major problems. I think that we will be attractive to host cities in the future. They will see the benefits of running a top-class event that is associated with low risks for host cities but with sustainable advantages for them.”
José Perurena used the ExCo meeting to thank his fellow board members, the IWGA staff and the member federations for their goal-oriented work over the past weeks. "We have done more than well in this moment of challenge. I am convinced that we, as an association, have managed this situation very well so far. This can only be achieved with a team that is committed to the spirit of The World Games.”
About the exchange via video conference, the president said: "We had to get used to it a bit, because it's easier to discuss when we're all sitting at the same table. However with a little practice we have been able to work on our issues effectively, intensively and in a good atmosphere."
The virtual Board meeting was attended by IWGA President José Perurena, Vice-President Max Bishop, Treasurer Lukas Hinder and the other Board members Anna Arzhanova, Volker Bernardi, Antonio Espinos, Jan Fransoo and Honorary Life President Ron Froehlich, as well as CEO Joachim Gossow and General Manager Chantal Boehi.
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, 7-17 July 2022. 3,600 athletes from over 30 sports and 100 countries will take part in The World Games.