Council Cabinet members will meet next week (9 June) to consider an invitation for Coventry to host the 2022 International Children’s Games (ICG).
If the invitation is accepted, the week-long event will take place in Coventry from 17-22 August 2022.
Coventry previously hosted the Games in 2005. Around 1,250 athletes and swimmers took part in five major sporting events, attracting visitors from 33 countries, 53 cities and four continents.
Coventry participants have now been participating in the event for more than 20 years and in the 2022 Games, there will be eight sports for competitors aged between 12-15. Sports will include basketball, swimming, tennis, table tennis, athletics, six-a-side football, three-on-three basketball and climbing.
As a special addition a 3km Fun Run will also be held. The run will be open to all ages and abilities to increase participation in sport and engagement with the event across the city. The formal invitation to the city to host the games has come from Torsten Rasch, the President of the International ICG Committee. Approval is also being sought to support the cost of hosting the games, up to a maximum of £1 million, funded from corporate reserves with the expectation of reducing the total cost to the Council through sponsorship and fundraising.
Councillor Abdul Salam Khan, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Events, Coventry City Council, said:
“The International Children’s Games will follow directly from the Commonwealth Games and be a brilliant opportunity to cement the city’s reputation as a host of major international sporting competitions.
“If we are to host this fantastic event, it will attract 100 participating cities from around the world and is expected to bring around 2,000 people to Coventry.
“As well as the benefits to the economy, the event will provide a sporting legacy, which ultimately is excellent news for everyone in Coventry.
“The fact that we have been formally invited by the President of the ICG is again testament to their confidence that Coventry can deliver another superb event and our reputation for being a welcoming host for international occasions.
“Knowing the ICG is coming will be a springboard for the sport and physical activity sector and galvanise its recovery. I look forward to hearing more positive news about this in the future.”
The International Children’s Games will be a part of the sporting legacy from Coventry’s year as European City of Sport in 2019. The city will continue to welcome events and projects such as this to further build on the legacy and continue to provide great sporting events and facilities for Coventry and its visitors.
Councillor Kamran Caan, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Sport, added:
“Hosting the event would be another great opportunity to inspire local young people to participate in sport and physical activity.
“During Coventry’s year of sport, we saw over 170,000 people get active. We have also invested in excess of £100m into sporting facilities so I am confident that we can provide a fantastic experience for competitors and spectators alike.
“This event came to us in 2005 and I’d be delighted to host it in our city once again. It will be a great way to encourage even more people not just to take part in sport and physical activity, but to volunteer, coach and be facilitators of sport too.
“In Coventry we are always looking for ways to increase the physical and mental wellbeing of the people that live in our city, so the opportunity to do that alongside 100 cities from around the world would be fantastic.”
The International Children’s Games was first held in 1968, starting out as an athletics competition in Celje, Slovenia and some years later evolved into the annual event and recognised by the International Olympic Committee.
More information about International Children’s Games can be found on their website.