In the coming days, the International World Games Association (IWGA) is taking the next step on the road to Chengdu. The applications from the International Member Federations for participation in the sports programme of The World Games 2025 (7-17 August 2025) in the Peoples Republic of China have been sent in, and are now under evaluation.
A total of 34 member federations have applied, with their non-Olympic disciplines. The IWGA Board will discuss and decide on the sports and disciplines at its Executive Committee meeting at the end of January.
The sports programme will include not only the disciplines of IWGA Member Federations. By means of a quota system, the host city Chengdu has the opportunity to integrate additional disciplines into the schedule. Those sports might have special interest or have a great appeal in the home country. The International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee are also invited to make suggestions for the sports programme - again through a quota system. The framework planning foresees 30+ sports, with a total of no more than 5,000 participants, for the 12th edition of The World Games. The IWGA Member Federations will ratify the programme at the Annual General Meeting in early May.
Sebastian Garvens, IWGA Head of Games Services, describes the criteria for the selection: "We use different evaluations of last year’s Games in Birmingham to see which disciplines were appealing for the public and which raised awareness in the media, and which Federations proved their commitment to the Games. It's also crucial to see how the Federations presented their sport at each venue." Another element is whether Chengdu has suitable competition venues or can build up temporary ones without a lot of effort. In addition, gender equality plays an important role in the composition of the programme.
"Looking through the applications, we can definitely look forward to an exciting programme, with new disciplines making their debut, at The World Games in Chengdu," says Garvens. And for sure, the IWGA will continue to pursue the path of integrating parasports into the programme. "We have already been approached by Federations representing parasports, and they have expressed their interest to be in Chengdu in 2025,” says Garvens. “There were also applications for para disciplines from IWGA members." In 2022 at The World Games in Birmingham, the best teams in Wheelchair Rugby competed for medals. It was the first time a parasport was part of the Games programme.
With the definition of the sports and disciplines, the process is far from complete. After that, the Federations in cooperation with the IWGA and the Local Organizing Committee will agree on the appropriate venues. Further on, the participating International Federations have to sign a commitment in which they confirm to bring their best athletes or teams to TWG 2025, and a preliminary schedule for the ten competition days must be established. These steps on the way to Chengdu should all be taken by the autumn of this year, prior to the first Competition Managers Meeting.
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.