January 17 - Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah, President of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), has predicted a successful Asian Beach Games in Phuket later this year will help pave the way for a global event celebrating beach sports to be held in the future.
Sheikh Ahmad, who is also President of the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), described how Asia is "trying its best to maintain the momentum of beach sports, with attention on both Olympic and non-Olympic disciplines".
Plans for a World Beach Games were first exclusively revealed by insidethegames last October.
"Along with the Indoor Games, the Beach Games started in Asia but Latin America has now started its own event, and both Africa and Europe are thinking seriously about this," said Sheikh Ahmad.
"What we are eventually trying to achieve is a World Beach Games.
"ANOC is talking a lot about this and support has also come from both Sport Accord and Association of Summer Olympic Sports Federations (ASOIF)."
Sheikh Ahmad also praised the Organising Committee for the Asian event, due to be held in Phuket in Thailand in November, for how they had dealt with the impressive number of new sports being added to the programme.
The International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) has submitted a request for beach wrestling while tennis is among other disciplines keen to pioneer its beach form, he revealed.
A presentation by the Organising Committee ahead of the OCA General Assembly here tomorrow in Manila, Philippines, then described how plans are on schedule despite the record number of sports and disciplines, while elements such as a full competition programme have also been completed. .
Sheikh Ahmad was speaking during the Executive Board meeting here ahead of celebrations this evening to mark 100 years of Asian sport which will be followed by tomorrow's General Assembly of the OCA.
Progress reports were also given by each OCA vice-president, as well as by various committees which had all met this morning, while the meeting was completed with a lengthy presentation by the Organising Committee of Incheon 2014 ahead of the Asian Games due to get underway in September.
Among other the items discussed was an "Asian Kids Art Competition" aiming to build on the themes of culture, tradition and sport, while measures to combat doping and to improve the strength of Athletes Commissions in Asia were also considered.
Also mentioned was the importance of maintaining a high number of Asian IOC members, following in the footsteps of the likes of Mikki Cojuango-Jaworski of the Philippines, elected last year, while the Sheikh revealed plans for an Asian IOC members meeting during next month's Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.
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October 2013: Exclusive - World Beach Games to be launched in 2015 by SportAccord and ANOC