New IWAS Guttmann Games announced
The International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) has announced the launch of an exciting new addition to its competition programme from 2020 – the IWAS Guttmann Games.
The games will only feature sports and events not currently on the Paralympic Games programme, offering athletes with physical impairments the chance to compete at an international level every four years.
They are a tribute to Sir Ludwig Guttmann, the father of the Paralympic Movement and founder of IWAS forbear the International Stoke Mandeville Wheelchair Sports Federation, to honour his incredible legacy in growing Para sports.
The first edition will be held next year with the dates, location and full programme to be announced shortly.
Sir Ludwig Guttmann’s daughter, Eva Loeffler OBE, shared her thoughts on the competition: “I am delighted to give my support to the proposed IWAS Guttmann Games in 2020.
“My late father started the sport movement for people with disabilities which has now become the third largest sports event in the world. The first games in Stoke Mandeville consisted of a few wheelchair competitions and changed over the years to become the Paralympics.
“I am delighted that the IWAS Guttmann Games will give the opportunity for participants in non-Paralympic sports to compete on an international level.
“I wish the Games every success.”
IWAS President Rudi Van Den Abbeele said: “The Guttmann Games are a huge part of IWAS’ commitment to being a world leader in the development of all Para sports. We want to continue the work that Sir Ludwig Guttmann started when he founded the International Stoke Mandeville Games in 1952.
“This is especially important for sports and events not on the Paralympic programme, where competition opportunities are sometimes limited because of funding or awareness.
“In addition a multisport event is such a unique environment, a real celebration. I remember all of my games experiences very fondly – they made me a better athlete and I experienced lots of different sports and cultures.
“This is such an exciting development and we are looking forward to working with lots of different partners to make the Guttmann Games a huge success.”
The Guttmann Games are the latest addition to a growing IWAS programme. The IWAS World Games and IWAS World Youth Games are also held every two years.
The next IWAS World Games will take place in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, in 2020.
Competitions are open to all athletes with physical impairments and are not limited to wheelchair or amputee athletes.