April 6 - Ron Froehlich will tomorrow end his 22-year reign as President of the International World Games Association (IWGA) when he steps down at the organisation's general annual meeting here, with Spain's International Olympic Committee (IOC) member José Perurena favourite to succeed him.
Perurena, President of the International Canoe Federation, is standing against Belgium's Harald Vervaecke, secretary general of the International Lifesaving Federation.
The vision of the 69-year-old Perurena is to use the World Games, first held in 1981 and which is staged every four years, as an event to help showcase sports that aspire to be part of the Olympic programme.
Sports which have graduated from the World Games to join the Olympics include badminton, baseball, rugby sevens, softball, taekwondo and women's weightlifting.
"My plan for the future years is having an agreement with the IOC to use these Games for the possible alternatives of the future sports that go to the Olympics," Perurena told the AIPS website.
"There are competing sports such as karate, dance sports or climbing sport.
"But we have two important points of view.
"We want to get some sports to the Olympic Games.
"But some international federations are not recognised by the IOC.
"So we work on the possibility the IOC recognises them."
If Perurena is able to adopt his proposal then his own sport could be among those to benefit.
"Canoeing has eight disciplines.
"That means that 60 or 65 percent of the canoeing activity is not in the Olympic disciplines.
"For us this is very important to explain disciplines like canoe polo or freestyle kayaking.
"These two disciplines have the potential to get to the Olympics in the future."
Vervaecke's manifesto is very much the opposite of his rival.
"The Games mainly for non-Olympic sports," he told AIPS.
"So the priority should be non-Olympic sports.
"Of course there should be Olympic sports, but they should be the second priority."
Whatever the outcome, Froehlich, who has led the IWGA since 1992, having previously served as vice-president for three years is expected to retain some involvement as Honorary President.
His appointment is expected to be confirmed at the annual meeting held alongside the SportAccord International Convention.
"I have played a role now for 25 years," said Froehlich, a vice-president of SportAccord and former President of the Association of Recognized International Sports Federations.
"It is time to let someone else take over."
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