- Written by Committee of the International Children's Games
An idea, which has made progress
Why organize such International Children's Games? The spiritual father of these Games, the Slovenian sports instructor Metod Klemenc, born 1934 in Ljubljana, explained: "My childhood suffered from the 2nd World War. It destroyed my family. Since I - within my possibilities - wanted to create a better world based on friendship, sport seemed to be one of the best means to bring together young people from different countries. Therefore you need will power and friends who are enthusiastic about sport, and who are willing to give up their spare time." In this sense Metod Klemenc organized the 1st International Children's Games in June 5, 1968 in Celje.
Nine towns took part in the first Games ever: Belgrade (Jugoslavia), Brno (Chech Republik), Celje (Slovenia), Graz (Austria), Kranj (Slovenia), Lausanne (Switzerland), Trbovlje (Slovenia), Udine (Italy) and Zagreb (Croatia).
The first success encouraged the organizers. Two years after that Udine, Northern Italy, proposed new games to European countries.
Since that time many towns have organized the Games: Graz (Austria) , Murska Sobota (Slovenia), Darmstadt (Germany), Geneva (Switzerland), Ravne na Koroskem (Slovenia), Lausanne (Switzerland), Troyes (France), Granollers (Spain), Szombathely (Hungary), Andorra, Ushgorod (Ukraine), Bratislava (Slovakia).
In 1994 , that year was very important for our movement: the Games were organized in Hamilton (Canada) - for the first time out of Europa and the first Winter Games were organized. The organizing town was Ravne na Koroskem (Slovenia).That year the Games took place also in Slovenj Gradec (Slovenia).
Since 1994 the Games have been organized in following towns: Prakovce-Helcmanovce (Slovakia) 1995, Sopron (Hungary) 1996, Sparta (Greece) 1997, Maribor (Slovenia) 1999, Logrono (Spain) 1998, Medias (Romania) 1999, Velenje (Slovenia) 1999, Cesky Krumlov (Czech Republic) 1999, Hamilton (Canada) 2000, Szombathely (Hungary) 2001, Plock (Poland) 2002, for the first time in Asia Taipei (Taiwan) 2002, Graz (Austria) 2003, Patras (Greece) 2003, and Cleveland, Ohio, USA 2004, Coventry, England 2005, Bangkok, Thailand 2006, Reykjavik, Iceland 2007, San Francisco, USA 2008.
Some of these towns were organizers for three times already (Geneva, Darmstadt, Murska Sobota) and some of them for two times (Celje, Graz, Hamilton, Ravne na Koroskem, Lausanne, Szombathely). 31 towns in the 21 states have organized 45 Games till now (42 Summer and 3 Winter Games). Over 35 000 school children in the age from 12 to 15 years have taken place in organizing sports contests. These Games have had delegations from 370 towns from 85 countries (from Europa, Asia, North and South America, Africa).
International Children's Games have become more and more interesting, not just in Europe but also in USA, Canada, Asia and Africa. More and more towns decide to host the games.
The committee adapts its regulations to our increasing movement. The new statute has been made by the committee: it permits to organize three kinds of committees: local, national and zonal. Two national committees have been established till now: Slovenia and Hungary.
And above that...
Sport is not the only item on the agenda of these Games, they should also be a contribution to learning about foreign cultures and ways of life. For this purpose, trips, sight-seeing tours and leisure events are offered to enable the participants to discover the host town and its surrounding area.
All that we are do is done for school children and for their good and just they should be in the spotlight of the Games!