Asia has been hosting Beach Games since 2008 with the last sporting event taking place in the Chinese resort city of Haiyang that’s on the Pacific Ocean coastline and across the Yellow Sea from South Korea and Japan.
The 20 sports that are played include beach woodball, a cross between golf and croquet.
Now, a new World Beach Games is set to be launched in 2015 by SportAccord with Brazil, the United Arab Emirates and the United States all in the running to host the inaugural event.
SportAccord President Marius Vizer announced the plan during a conference in St. Petersburg, Russia. The competition is set to be organized jointly with the Association of the National Olympic Committees (ANOC), who are led by Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, a close ally of Vizer’s.
Sheikh Ahmad is also President of the Olympic Council of Asia, who have been organising a biannual Beach Games since 2008.
With relatively low expenditure due to the temporary venues and natural resources of sand and sea already in place, coupled with high potential for tourism and promotion, the hope is that the World Beach Games will attract worldwide attention and quickly establish itself as a fixture on the international calendar.
It is expected that up to 20 sports will be featured on the program. They will be a mixture of sports played on sand, such as more traditional games like beach volleyball, beach handball and beach soccer, and other sports that take place on the water, such as dragon boat racing, wakeboarding and waterskiing.
The bids from the three countries who have already expressed an interest in staging the event are scheduled to be analyzed after the SportAccord World Combat Games, which is currently taking place in St. Petersburg, Russia, and scheduled to end on Saturday, Oct. 26.
The host of the first World Beach Games is set to be announced early next year.
Vizer also plans to continue a proposal he inherited when he took over as President of SportAccord in May to launch an Urban Games, which is expected to feature 3-on-3 basketball, skateboarding and cycling. That could also be launched in 2015, but is more likely to be staged for the first time in 2017.
The World Beach Games remain Vizer’s top priority, taking its place alongside a growing number of multi-sport events being organized by SportAccord. For example, the Combat Games and World Mind Games have become established tournaments.
“It is a very exciting concept,” Vizer said. “We will start working on the concept properly after the Combat Games.”
Contact the writer of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org. Inside the Games is an online blog of the London Organizing Committee that staged the 2012 London Games. The blog continues to cover issues that are important to the Olympic Movement. This article is reprinted here with permission of the blog editors.