Chendgu is Looking Forward to the Games
Finally back on site in Chengdu! Last week a working-level IWGA delegation, led by CEO Joachim Gossow, visited the host city of The World Games 2025 in the Peoples Republic of China. It was the first on-site working meeting between representatives of the International World Games Association and the Chinese National Organising Committee (NOC), as well as representatives of the city of Chengdu, since 2019.
For the International World Games Association, General Director Chantal Boehi, Deputy CEO Guillaume Felli and Sports Director Sebastian Garvens took part in the meeting too. Amongst other items, the talks focused on agreeing a roadmap for preparations for the Games, to be held from August 7th to 17th 2025.
In addition, the IWGA team visited and assessed the proposed possible venues for the multisport event. This included the Tianfu Sports Park, which according to the current planning status of the organisers is to become one of the hotspots of the Games.
Another important topic on the agenda: hosts and guests exchanged views on the sports programme for the Games, which get under way in just under 900 days. The IWGA board has already agreed on a proposal in January this year. The host city also has the opportunity to propose sports for this 12th edition of the event. Right now it has to be clarified whether the host city can facilitate the appropriate conditions for all the planned competitions. Furthermore, it is a task of the IWGA member federations to present their sports in a way that a legacy or grassroots movement can emerge, not only in Chengdu but ideally also in the whole of China. The maximum permitted number (including athletes and technical officials) for the sports programme of The World Games 2025 is 5,000.
IWGA Sports Director Sebastian Garvens said: "The exchanges were very fruitful and purposeful. I am confident that we can meet our timeline and present a sports programme to our member federations for ratification at our Annual General Meeting in May."
Joachim Gossow thanked the representatives of Chengdu and the Chinese NOC in particular for their support. "We see that we have a very committed partner on our side in the preparation of an outstanding sports event. We have received the NOC's promise to do everything possible to make the Games the success everyone hopes for.”
The IWGA delegation was also able to convey two concrete commitments to its President, José Perurena: In March, the Local Organising Committee will be formed in Chengdu, and representatives of the host city will present their plans for the Games in 2025 in person at the IWGA AGM in Madrid on 3rd May.
At the same time, the city made it clear that the hot phase of preparations can only begin after the 2023 World University Games, which will be held in Chengdu in August this year, are over. General Director Chantal Boehi commented: "We can well understand that the city wants to focus its efforts on the event that is coming up now. Also, it seems sensible for the organisers to use the experience from the World University Games in preparing for The World Games."
Deputy CEO Guillaume Felli took away the following impression from the on-site visit: "The city is looking forward to the Games, and you can feel their ambition to impress the world. The first events to promote The World Games have already taken place. The hospitality we have experienced during these days certainly bodes well for what our athletes will experience when they compete for gold here in 2025."
Chengdu, a city of 22 million people in the southwest of China, is the capital of Sichuan province and also well known as ‘home’ of the panda bear. On 9th May 2019 in Gold Coast, Australia, the former Mayor of Chengdu, Mr Luo Qiang, signed the Organiser Agreement for TWG 2025. The Vice President of the IOC and the Chinese Olympic Committee, Mr Yu Zaiqing, signed the agreement as Witness. President José Perurena signed on behalf of the International World Games Association. This was preceded by ratification of the contract by the 37 member federations of the IWGA during the Annual General Meeting at the SportAccord Convention in Gold Coast. Chengdu follows Birmingham, USA (7-17 July 2022) as the host city of The World Games.
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 in 2025.