Portugal to stage IWAS World Games 2021


The International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) has revealed that Vila Real de Santo Antonio, Portugal, will host the IWAS World Games from 1-4 October 2021.

The multi-sport event will provide a platform for aspiring Paralympians in three sports – athletics, swimming and powerlifting. Cerebral palsy football will also make its World Games debut.

The IWAS World Games will return to Vila Real de Santo Antonio for the second time. The 2017 edition was also held in the scenic city located at the eastern edge of The Algarve.

The announcement was made to mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December.

IWAS President, Rudi van den Abbeele, said: “What better way to inspire hope and optimism at the end of a challenging year than revealing the first details of IWAS’ marquee event.

“Attracting hundreds of competitors, the IWAS World Games are where champions are born. There are countless successful athletes who have used them as a springboard because they provide the perfect place for countries to debut their emerging faces. This is why we also see some of the most experienced and decorated Paralympians returning year-after-year – to test themselves against up-and-coming stars.

“We are very proud of this legacy and are happy to be able to continue helping to build the future of Para sports. IWAS is excited to make history once again at Vila Real de Santo Antonio 2021.”


The IWAS World Games 2021 will be held at the self-contained Complexo Desportivo de Vila Real de Santo Antonio where facilities include a 50m swimming pool, athletics stadium and sports hall which will stage powerlifting.

IWAS is looking to secure classifiers and sanctioning from the relevant International Federations, and is working with the Cerebral Palsy International Sport and Recreation Association (CPISRA) on the inclusion of more events and sports for partner organisations like cerebral palsy football. World Para Powerlifting have already confirmed classifiers will attend.

The logo of the IWAS 2021 World Games

About the IWAS World Games

Designed to give aspiring Paralympians and emerging athletes their first taste of international competition, the Games have helped produce many of the world’s big name stars.

These include the USA’s seven-time Paralympic track champion Tatyana McFadden and Great Britain’s double gold-medallist sprinter Jonnie Peacock. Germany’s long jump T44 world record holder Markus Rehm and Italian world and Paralympic wheelchair fencing title-holder Beatrice Vio have also competed.