Sports programme detailed for first World Beach Games

Organisers of the inaugural World Beach Games in San Diego have outlined a sports programme consisting of 17 disciplines across 15 sports as further plans were revealed for the delayed event.

A pet project of Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) president Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, the World Beach Games is set to debut in the US city in 2019. Every NOC will be invited to participate in the inaugural edition, with ANOC stating it is optimistic of strong representation from every Olympic continent.

While the final configuration is subject to ongoing negotiations, the ANOC general assembly heard that the sports programme at present will consist of: 3×3 basketball, BMX freestyle, beach handball, karate beach kata, stand-up paddle and shortboard surfing, skateboarding, beach football, open water swimming, beach tennis, duathlon, beach volleyball, bouldering, wakeboarding, waterskiing, kiteboarding and beach wrestling.

The Games will take place in temporary venues at a single consolidated site at Mission Beach, San Diego. It is anticipated that approximately 1,300 athletes will compete across six days of competition.

ANOC secretary general Gunilla Lindberg said: “The ANOC World Beach Games will be the first and only truly global festival for beach and water sports. We are collaborating closely with the International Federations to ensure we have the world’s best athletes in their disciplines for our inaugural edition. Ultimately, our vision is for the ANOC World Beach Games to be where sport becomes youth culture: we want to help set new youth culture trends, with new sports and new stars to reach the next generation of sports fans.”

President of the San Diego 2019 Local Organising Committee, Vincent Mudd, added: “At San Diego 2019, we will bring the NOCs to where the young people are with our festival of youth-centric sports and entertainment. Our Clean Water, Clean Games sustainability platform will align NOCs and their teams with a cause that is galvanising communities around the world. This can be a game-changer that brings NOCs closer to their fans and helps International Federations launch the next global sports phenomenon.”

Mudd (pictured) last week told the Times of San Diego website that the event would be further cut in its scope and ambition. The World Beach Games was originally due to take place in San Diego this year, but was postponed until 2019 in August 2016 in order to allow International Federations more time to prepare athletes for the multi-sport event.

The event had been scheduled to take place over 10 days in September 2017, with an operating budget of $130m (€111.6m) having been outlined. The budget for the Games was last year cut to $57m, and Mudd said it would be further reduced to just under $40m.