In the coming days, the International World Games Association (IWGA) is taking another step on its way to Chengdu. Applications from international member associations to participate in The World Games 2025 (August 7-17, 2025) in the People’s Republic of China have been submitted and are currently being evaluated.
A total of 34 member federations with their non-Olympic disciplines applied. The IWGA Board will discuss and make decisions on sports and disciplines at the Executive Committee meeting in late January.
The sports program will include not only the disciplines of the IWGA member federations. Thanks to the quota system, the host city of Chengdu has the option to include additional disciplines in the schedule. These sports may be of particular interest or have great appeal in their home country. The International Olympic Committee and the International Paralympic Committee are also invited to submit proposals for the sports program – again in the quota system. The framework planning provides for over 30 sports disciplines, in which no more than 5,000 participants of the 12th edition of The World Games will take part. IWGA member federations ratify the program at their annual general meeting in early May.
Sebastian Garvens, IWGA Head of Games Services, describes the selection criteria: “We use various assessments of last year’s Games in Birmingham to see which sports appealed to the public and generated media awareness, and which federations proved their commitment to the Games. It’s also important to see how the federations have presented their sport in every venue.” Another element is whether Chengdu has suitable facilities for competitions or whether it can build temporary ones without much effort. In addition, gender equality plays an important role in the composition of the programme.
“Looking at the entries, we can certainly expect an exciting program with new sports debuting at The World Games in Chengdu,” says Garvens. And certainly the IWGA will continue on the path of integrating parasports into the program. “We have already been contacted by parasports federations who have expressed interest in going to Chengdu in 2025,” says Garvens. “There have also been submissions by IWGA members for paradisciplinary disciplines.” In 2022, at The World Games in Birmingham, the best wheelchair rugby teams competed for medals. This was the first time parasport was part of the Games program.
The process of defining sports and disciplines is far from over. The federations will then work with the IWGA and the local organizing committee to agree on suitable venues. Participating International Federations must then sign a pledge confirming that they will bring their top athletes or teams to TWG 2025, and a ten-day competition schedule must be agreed upon. All these steps on the way to Chengdu should be taken by autumn this year, before the first Meeting of Competition Directors.
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.