José Perurena has today (Monday) been re-elected as president of the International World Games Association (IWGA) as racquetball and softball secured returns to the World Games programme for the 2021 event in the US city of Birmingham, Alabama.
Perurena (pictured), who is also president of the International Canoe Federation (ICF), stood unopposed and will continue for another four-year term in the post he has occupied since 2014. The IWGA elections were held on the sidelines of the SportAccord conference in Bangkok, Thailand. Max Bishop of the World Air Sports Federation was also re-elected as vice-president.
Perurena said: “The IFs (International Federations) obviously are confident with the work of the ExCo in the last period and convinced by the new colleagues to the board for the next period. We have an excellent host for our 2021 Games in Birmingham, Alabama, and in the coming four years we plan to build further on the successes we achieved last year in Wroclaw.
“I hope these coming years will be remembered as a period of calm, steady development, untarnished by scandals, in which the top athletes in our sports have the opportunity to enjoy an ‘almost Olympic’ experience, and in which the host cities remain proud and grateful for the opportunity we are giving them to host the World Games.”
The World Games takes place every four years in the year following the summer Olympic Games and features more than 30 sports. The IWGA’s annual general meeting has set the sports programme for Birmingham 2021, with 3,600 athletes from more than 100 countries to compete in 30 official sports when the World Games return to the United States for the first time since 1981.
Racquetball and softball are the main headlines in the programme, returning to the World Games for the first time since 2013 and 1985, respectively. Some of the 30 sports were on the official programme of the inaugural World Games in the US city of Santa Clara in 1981. For bowling, finswimming, gymnastics, karate, powerlifting, racquetball, roller sports, softball, tug of war and water ski, the 11th edition of the World Games will also be their 40th anniversary at the event.
Perurena said: “I'm sure this programme will be attractive for spectators, both on site and on screen. It strikes a good balance between team and individual sports, and demands widely varying skills such as strength, precision, control, artistry, endurance, courage and agility.
“We took account of all the reports on last year's Wroclaw Games and the performance of our various federations. Now we have to fine tune the specific events in association with our federations. We're all set for great Games in Birmingham 2021.”
Sports at the 2021 World Games
Artistic & Dance Sport:
Tug of War
Waterski & Wakeboard