The IWGA has given preliminary consideration to integrating disabled athletes into the 2021 World Games ©IWGA

The International World Games Association (IWGA) is considering including disabled athletes at the 2021 edition of the event.

Due to be held in Birmingham in the United States, it would be the first edition of the Games to include disabled competitors.

As the IWGA prepares for this year's Games in the Polish city of Wrocław, the organisation has confirmed that "serious discussions will get underway immediately afterwards". 

The World Games currently hosts sports and disciplines which are not on the Olympic programme.

"We hope that we can integrate Para-sport competitions in the 11th edition of The World Games in 2021 in Birmingham," said IWGA chief executive Joachim Gossow.

"We will do it in close cooperation with our partners in the US.

"Right now we are laying out the road map for the idea of a Para World Games.

"We can already see that there are lots of decisions to make.

"We have to establish a decent framework before working on detailed plans."

An independent investigation in 2016 addressed the topic and looked into potential sporting disciplines.

Birmingham in the state of Alabama will host the 2021 World Games ©IWGA
Birmingham in the state of Alabama will host the 2021 World Games ©IWGA

The IWGA claim disabled and able-bodied athletes competing together at the same place and at the same time is very common at the World Cup events of their Member Federations. 

It is also "strongly recommended" by experts, according to the governing body.

However, the absence of a body such as the International Paralympic Committee for non-Paralympic sports would mean that the IWGA would need to serve as an international body for disabled athletes competing at the Games.

"It is clear for us that we don't want to create a separate event for disabled athletes," added Gossow.

"Instead we want to integrate disabled sports into The World Games programme.

"As all facilities in the US have to be accessible by law, The World Games 2021 offers an excellent opportunity to implement this step forward."

Birmingham in the state of Alabama was awarded the 2021 World Games in January 2015.

The city was chosen over Lima, Peru and Ufa, Russia by the IWGA Executive Board.

It will be the first time since the inaugural World Games in 1981 that North America has hosted the event, with Santa Clara in California given the honour on that occasion.