Since spring 2021 the IMGA has been in the process of modernisation and is currently going through an organisational transition to prepare the organisation for the years ahead.
Sustainability has always been at the core of IMGA’s profile. All IMGA events are built around the 3 P’s of Sustainability: People, Planet and Prosperity.
Jens Holm (CEO IMGA) says: “From the very beginning host cities have only been allowed to use existing venues, rather than building new ones. It is quite simple; if there is no suitable venue available for a sport, then the sport is not on the program. Using existing venues also allows the cities to use their existing infrastructure and athletes can get to the different venues by using public transport rather than shuttle buses.”
People, Planet and prosperity
IMGA events are open for everyone who meets the age criteria. This allows the host city to use the event as a tool to promote an active lifestyle locally and allows to promote sports to their ageing population and create a healthy lifestyle legacy. It should never be forgotten the everyday role models for children are their parents and other adults in society to inspire them to live an active lifestyle.
Apart from not building new venues and using public transport, many other initiatives are already contributing to a more sustainable event. Athlete’s clothing and merchandise is increasingly produced with recyclable materials and more focus is given to environmental-friendly food solutions. The IMGA will organise a symposium on sustainability for the host cities where there is an opportunity to learn from each other how to create greener solutions for events. The outcome of that symposium will be written into future host city contracts to ensure the necessary focus is given to the subject in the future.
Everyone can agree we have to be more conscious about our environment but unfortunately many initiatives are often blocked by economic constraints.
It is therefore essential that master’s events make financial sense for host cities, while at the same time providing a good value proposition for the athletes. Apart from retaining the registration fees and all sponsorship rights the local economy benefits greatly from the economic impact generated by the tens of thousands of foreign athletes, staying in hotels and eating in restaurants. In return the athletes get the experience of a world-class event with the possibility to socialise with like-minded people and have tourism opportunities in the region. Furthermore, we will ask our master’s community to come up with more initiatives to enhance our sustainability focus.
Once we have collected all this data from our stakeholders this will be included in the strategic roadmap.
The Organising Committee of the next World Masters Games in Kansai is fully aligned with the IMGA vision: “We find it important to have an inclusive approach by holding the Games for everyone, irrespective of age (master’s age), gender, ability, or whether with or without disabilities. We aim to achieve that everyone enjoys sports and has a healthy lifestyle throughout life. Taking this opportunity of holding the Games, we aim to revitalize the region and promote human exchange in the region. We develop various kinds of education and academic activities to pass them onto the next generation. “