The Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) and the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) have today (Tuesday) signed a landmark partnership covering the organisation of the World Beach Games after the multi-sport event’s inaugural edition in 2019.
The two parties said the deal recognises ANOC’s important efforts in launching the World Beach Games and GAISF’s critical role in multi-sport Games. The agreement was signed by GAISF president Patrick Baumann and ANOC president Sheikh Ahmad Fahad Al-Sabah in the presence of International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach at the SportAccord conference in Bangkok, Thailand.
Under the terms of the agreement, ANOC and GAISF will form a 50-50 partnership to run the World Beach Games through a jointly held event company registered in Switzerland. A board consisting of equal numbers of GAISF and ANOC representatives will run the company with a presidency which will rotate between the two stakeholders. ANOC will lead the company during the first four-year term and GAISF will propose the managing director.
Sheikh Ahmad said: “We are delighted to sign this MoU with GAISF which will continue the constructive collaboration between the NOCs (National Olympic Committees) and IFs (International Federations) under the leadership of the IOC. We are very excited by the huge potential of the World Beach Games. Working with the NOCs and IFs we want to reach the next generation of sports fans by creating a sustainable event which will unite the Olympic family and excite young audiences all around the world.”
The World Beach Games will be held every two years following the edition being organised by ANOC in San Diego in 2019. The sport programme will be determined in agreement with the IOC and in principle no Olympic events will be included in future Beach Games.
In November, organisers of the inaugural World Beach Games outlined a sports programme consisting of 17 disciplines across 15 sports as further plans were revealed for the delayed event. While the final configuration is subject to ongoing negotiations, the ANOC general assembly heard that the sports programme at present will consist of: 3x3 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.
A pet project of Sheikh Ahmad, the first World Beach Games was originally due to take place in San Diego last year, but was postponed until 2019 in August 2016 in order to allow IFs more time to prepare athletes.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Baumann said: “Beach sports continue to grow in popularity and prominence and the partnership will ensure that GAISF continues to fulfil its role of providing showcase events for our member federations, promoting new disciplines and bringing the expertise from all International Federations to the table.”
In other news, GAISF has today said its membership is again complete with the return of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), International Golf Federation (IGF) and International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).
GAISF made the announcement in a media briefing ahead of its general assembly on Friday. The IAAF and IGF were one of a number of IFs who renounced their memberships amid the turmoil surrounding the organisation, then known as SportAccord, in 2015.
At the general assembly, GAISF added that members will also be asked to approve the World Armwrestling Federation (WAF) for full membership. The WAF was among the first group of federations granted observer status last year and approval would mean they become the first to meet the criteria necessary to complete the journey from observer to member.
GAISF said: “It would be a significant achievement and one which sends out as clear signal that the system developed by our Membership Commission is not only open and transparent but effective and that federations which are focused and work hard with our assistance can achieve their membership goals.”