At its board meeting in January, the board of the International World Games Association (IWGA) agreed on the composition of the IWGA Interim Committee of Athletes. As already announced, the president of this commission will be the Spanish karateka Sandra Sanchez.
There are six other members of this committee Phillips cat from Australia (Flying Disc), Andres Acuna from Costa Rica (Racquetball), a Swiss floorball player Maciej Hofbauerindian archer Abhishek Verma, Justyna Mo?d?onek from Poland (DanceSport) and a Canadian powerlifter Rhaea Stinn. Board member Jan Fransoo will represent the IWGA Executive Committee on this panel and will thus be the equivalent of athletes. At the IWGA Office, the committee will be assisted by Guillaume Felli. The decision to establish an Athletic Committee was communicated to IWGA members at the 2022 Annual General Meeting.
Jan Fransoo explains the next steps: “The current IWGA Athletes Committee is on a temporary basis until September 2025. Until then, the Athletes’ Committee will be chosen by the athletes of the next edition of The World Games. The twelfth edition will be held in Chengdu, China. The main task for the next two and a half years will be to prepare for the establishment of this Athletes Commission, including the selection process, future powers, composition and related regulatory changes. Our efforts will focus on the provisions for transforming the Interim Committee into a standard IWGA institution.”
Sandra Sanchez, who attended the IWGA board meeting in January in Madrid as a guest at the invitation of IWGA President José Perurena, says she is aware of her responsibility. “The Committee will ensure that the voice and judgment of the athletes are heard and will influence the decisions of the IWGA for the benefit of the participants in the Games. I feel honored to lead the committee after the end of my active sports career and I am looking forward to the new assignment,” says the winner of The World Games 2022 in Birmingham, USA and 2017 in Wroc?aw, Poland. She was the Olympic champion at the 2021 Tokyo Games.
One of the first tasks will be to convene the first formal meeting with all members of the committee before summer this year. At this meeting, they will also agree on the way forward for their actions. Members will work on the bylaws.
José Perurena explained: “One of our guiding principles is that we put athletes and their needs at the center. The establishment of the Temporary Commission of Athletes is another step towards implementing this principle. Therefore, we follow the guidelines set out in the strategic document “Development beyond perfection”. The 39 IWGA member associations decided to establish this temporary committee at their annual general meeting.
Jan Fransoo explains how the current members were nominated: “We have reached out to our federations and asked them to provide us with suitable candidates. Gender equality was important to us in this process. In addition, the representatives of the athletes should come from all over the world and clearly show the diversity of sports within the World Games family. First of all, we asked for self-confident and experienced athletes. Their conscious opinion is important in the further development of our event. We are convinced that the current composition meets these expectations. I am looking forward to the collaboration that is about to begin.”
World games is a multi-sport event organized every four years by the International World Games Association, organized with the support of the International Olympic Committee. The 2022 World Games took place in Birmingham, Alabama, USA from July 7-17, 2022. 3,600 athletes from 34 sports and 100 countries participated in the games. The 12th edition of The World Games will be held in Chengdu, CHN in 2025.