World beach games set to be launched in 2017
By Julian Linden
BANGKOK (Reuters) - A brand new international multi-sports event, featuring games including American flag football, skateboarding and jet ski races, could be added to the global sports calendar from 2017.
Although the yet-to-be-named world beach games will not carry the Olympic tag, they will be run by SportAccord and the Association of National Olympic Committees (ANOC), which comprises more than 200 member states recognized by the International Olympic Committee.
The proposal still has to be approved by the ANOC general assembly, which is meeting in Bangkok this week, but cleared another major hurdle on Wednesday when the ANOC Executive Council voted to support the introduction of the Games.
"We are very keen about the beach games," ANOC president Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah told a news conference.
"This will be the first event for us. We will put it to the general assembly to approve the beach games."
The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) introduced the Asian Beach Games in 2008, which combines sports traditionally played on sand, such as beach volleyball, with water sports, and sports played near beaches, such as skateboarding.
The Games were introduced partly as a way to modernize major multi-sports events but also for countries that could not afford to host bigger international events like the Olympics.