By Nick Butler at the Holiday Inn Resort Hotel in Phuket
A World Beach Games will provide a unique opportunity for sports and disciplines to be showcased on a major multi-sport stage, Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC) President Sheikh Ahmad Al Fahad Al Sabah has claimed.
Following a successful Resolution at last week's ANOC General Assembly in Bangkok, plans to launch the World Beach Games as a collaboration between ANOC and SportAccord have been given the green light, with the first event set to take place in 2017.
Sheikh Ahmad, who is also President of the Olympic Council, has dismissed fears it will be an unnecessary event in an overcrowded calendar.
"For the Olympic Games, you have only beach volleyball at the moment and I think beach football, handball, maybe 3x3 basketball will try to go there, but for other [beach sports] it will be really difficult," he told insidethegames during the 4th Asian Beach Games currently taking place here.
"So I think we are preparing for them a good environment for some of their events in their sports programme to have somewhere they can participate.
"I am sure a lot of those athletes, in Asian competition or regional competition, or even world competition, nobody will know them.
"But with this multi-sport Games, they will have more potential to show their attitude and talents, and to represent their country and flag and maybe to be more famous in their country."
Sheikh Ahmad used the example of the Asian Beach Games to show the potential of the event, highlighting how since the first edition in Bali in 2008, many International Federations had started "knocking on the door" to be on the programme.
Sheikh Ahmad claimed the World Beach Games would occupy a unique place in the calendar.
"I think we have to wash our brain to put a strategy, concept, ideals, the whole scenario, and then we will deliver the first Games," he said.
"It will not touch the Olympic Games and the World Cup but will have its own space.
"It will be a landmark Games in the world.
"We are lucky in that we are starting late, so will have better chance for modernisation, as we don't have a tradition to follow, and will look for the messages of youth.
"We can scope our strategy in ways others can't do because they are related to tradition and the style of the Games, and they cannot afford to change."
While no host city for the inaugural edition has been revealed, and now seems unlikely to be until next October's ANOC General Assembly in Washington D.C., Sheikh Ahmad claimed the location will come second to the concept of the Games.
"We will put the Games then the country will be only a name," he said.
"We are keen about the Games, not the city.
"Our strategy is that we will know the court, the light, the course, the programme, the message, the partner, the broadcasting, the IT...
"We have all this so the city will be easy."
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November 2014: Nick Butler: ANOC is becoming increasingly significant under Sheikh Ahmad
November 2014: Sheikh Ahmad and Hickey re-elected to top ANOC positions
October 2014: Asia should take credit for boom in beach games, claims OCA honorary life vice-president
April 2014: Eclectic group of sports set to make up programme for inaugural World Beach Games
October 2013: Exclusive: World Beach Games to be launched in 2015 by SportAccord and ANOC