The World Games family grows

The World Games family welcomes two new members. During the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the International World Games Association (IWGA), the representatives of the 36 participating member federations approved the applications of the International Wushu Federation and International Sambo Federation. A two-thirds majority was required.

The AGM was again held remotely due to the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The meeting was attended by 36 of the 37 IWGA member federations.

IWGA President José Perurena, who chaired this year’s AGM, congratulated President Gou Zhongwen of the International Wushu Federation and President Vasily Shestakov of the International Sambo Federation on the admission of their federations as the 38th and 39th members of The World Games family. The federations already have IWGA history: Sambo was part of the official programme in London (GBR) at The World Games 1985 and in The Hague (Netherlands) in 1993. Wushu was represented at The World Games as an invitational sport in 2009 in Kaohsiung (Chinese Taipei) and in Cali (Colombia) in 2013. In 2022 in Birmingham, Alabama, Wushu will again participate in the programme.

The last new admission of a federation took place in 2014, when the World Association of Kickboxing Organizations successfully applied for admission to the IWGA.

The AGM decided to extend the term of office of the IWGA Board by one year to 2023, due to the postponement of the eleventh edition of the World Games in Birmingham, Alabama to the coming year. Extending the term of office by one year will enable the existing board to complete the preparations for The World Games 2022 in the USA.

Max Bishop, Vice-President of the IWGA, describes why the motion of prolongation was on the agenda:

"Leaving office just before the Games - and before the evaluation phase has even started - is obviously not ideal. We therefore invited the membership to extend the current ExCo's term of office, given the exceptional circumstances."

With almost 14 months to go before the opening of the multisport-event at the newly built Protective Stadium in Birmingham Alabama, Nick Sellers, CEO of the local Birmingham Organizing Committee presented the current state of preparations for The World Games 2022 (7-17 July 2022). All 25 competition venues have now been decided upon for the ten competition days, when 34 sports will be showcased and more than 200 medal events held. In addition, Nick Sellers announced that the launch of ticket sales will be on 7th July 2021, exactly one year before the Games. Sellers assured the meeting that Birmingham is ready and very much looking forward to hosting The World Games 2022. He stated that The World Games most likely would be the first major international sports event in the USA, and possibly in the whole world, to be held with full stands again.

"It will be a great re-connection of humanity," Sellers said.

President Perurena concluded the meeting: "Thank you all for attending, and for your understanding of the difficult circumstances that made a physical meeting impossible. Thank you also for your support of the Executive Committee.

I sincerely hope that we will all be together somewhere for next year’s AGM, just a couple of months before we all go to Birmingham for The World Games 2022. In the meantime, I look forward to seeing some of you in Birmingham this November, when we hold a series of planning meetings with the Birmingham Organising Committee.

Usually, I wish you a safe journey home. Today, I just say "Stay safe… wherever you are! Goodbye."

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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.

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