October 21 - A new World Beach Games is set to be launched in 2015 by SportAccord, its President Marius Vizer has revealed here, with Brazil, the United Arab Emirates and the United States all in the running to host the inaugural event.
The competition is set to be organised 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 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 feature on the programme, which will be a mixture of sports traditionally played on sand - like beach volleyball and beach football - and others which take place on the water, such as dragon boat racing and wakeboarding.
The bids from the three countries who have already expressed an interest in staging the event are due to be analysed after the SportAccord World Combat Games, which is currently taking place here, end on Saturday (October 26) with a host due 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 be feature 3x3 basketball, skateboarding and cycling trials.
That could also be launched in 2015, but is more likely to be staged for the first time in 2017
as the Beach Games remains Vizer's priority, taking its place alongside a growing number of multisport events being organised by SportAccord, with the Combat Games and World Mind Games now established tournaments.
"It is a very exciting concept," Vizer told insidethegames.
"We will start working on the concept properly after the Combat Games."
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