Inaugural World Abilitysport Guttmann Games Details Announced
The 1st World Abilitysport Guttmann Games will be held from 10-14 July 2024 hosting a competition programme of para dance sport and powerchair hockey.
The 1st World Abilitysport Guttmann Games will be held from 10-14 July 2024 in the birthplace of the Paralympic Movement, Stoke Mandeville, Great Britain.
The Games, aimed specifically at sports and events not on the Paralympic programme, will host a competition programme of powerchair hockey and para dance sport with a development forum and showcase to be held in wheelchair cricket.
World Abilitysport President, Rudi Van den Abbeele said: “The Guttmann Games initiative is a cornerstone of World Abilitysport’s commitment to the promotion and development of sports and events not on the Paralympic programme.”
“The multi-sport Games environment will offer a real celebration of the sports on the programme and provide a place to develop and increase awareness of the sports – a legacy of the work that Sir Ludwig Guttmann started on the very same grounds when he founded the International Stoke Mandeville Games in 1952.”
“We look forward to expanding the reach of this event into more sports but also disciplines and events of sports that no longer feature on the Paralympic Games programme to give these athletes much needed international competition opportunities.”
The venue for the first edition of the Games is home to World Abilitysport Member, WheelPower, whose CEO, Martin McElhatton said of the event, “It is wonderful to have the inaugural Guttmann Games hosted here at Stoke Mandeville where the movement began with the pioneering work of Dr Guttmann. We wish everyone involved the very best for the planning and delivery of the event and every success to the participants.”
The Guttmann Games were due to go ahead in 2020 but like many events were cancelled due to the uncertainty caused by the covid-19 pandemic.
Sir Ludwig Guttmann’s daughter, Eva Loeffler OBE, shared her thoughts on plans for the Games in 2020, “I am delighted to give my support to the proposed Guttmann Games.”
“My late father started the sport movement for people with disabilities which has now become the third largest sports event in the world. The first games in Stoke Mandeville consisted of a few wheelchair competitions and changed over the years to become the Paralympics.
“I am delighted that the Guttmann Games will give the opportunity for participants in non-Paralympic sports to compete on an international level.”
“I wish the Games every success.”
Entries will open for the Games in mid-April, closing in early June.
More information on the Games can be found here.