IWAS World Games 2017 draws to a celebratory close in Vila Real de Santo Antonio, Portugal
Five hundred team members arrived in Portugal on 30th November 2017 ready for 4 days of competition in Archery, Athletics, Swimming, Table Tennis and Para Taekwondo.
Three hundred athletes accompanied by one hundred and fifty support staff and coaches arrived in Portugal on 30th November 2017 ready for 4 days of competition in Archery, Athletics, Swimming, Table Tennis and Para Taekwondo.
The Opening Ceremony of the Games took place in the historic Vila Real de Santo Antonio town square where locals of the Portuguese town as well as local dignitaries welcomed the 43 competing Nations into the Parade of Nations. Vila Real de Santo Antonio Mayor, Maria de Conceicao Cabrita, wished the athletes the best in their sporting aspirations and hoped the Portuguese hospitality would make for a memorable experience during their stay.
Hayley Fitzsimons of Ireland took the oath on behalf of the athletes, UAE’s Nawaaf Alkaabi, on behalf of the coaches and long term IWAS supporter, British athletics official, Ros Alterman read the officials oath.
Paul DePace made his last opening remarks as IWAS President to the Ceremony eventually declaring the Games officially open.
On 1st December, two training days swiftly followed by competition burst into action at the facilities of Complexo Desportivo Vila Real de Santo Antonio offering the rare opportunity for all sports on the programme to be hosted on the same site. The close proximity of all sports allowed teams to support fellow competitors as well as experience different sports in action.
IWAS CEO, Charmaine Hooper said, ‘This year’s edition of the IWAS World Games saw such an eclectic group of athletes, it made for an unforgettable atmosphere. From Master athletes for some who marked their last international competition, to international debuts from younger, developing athletes, elite Paralympic medalists beating Regional and World records, as well as welcoming refugee athletes for the first time; I feel the IWAS Games has provided a place for all, regardless of their sporting ambitions.’
The closing party allowed the IWAS flag to be passed from IWAS as the Local Organising Committee of this year’s Games to Mohammed Al Hammadi of the UAE officially announcing Sharjah, UAE as the host city of the IWAS World Games 2019.
IWAS would like to thank all the volunteers, national and international officials whom without the Games would not be possible. A thank you also goes to all at the Complexo Desportivo Vila Real de Santo Antonio, Yellow Monte Gordo and our travel agency partners, Laranja Tours.
Thank you also to the 43 competing teams of the IWAS World Games 2017, we hope to see you again at an IWAS event in the future.