History of the 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, Slovenia.

Nine cities took part in the first Games ever: Belgrade, Brno, Celje, Graz, Kranj, Lausanne, Trbovlje, Udine, and Zagreb.

The first success encouraged the organizers. Two years after that Udine, Northern Italy, proposed new games to European countries.

Since that time many cities around the world have organized the Games. Some of them for one time, some of them for two (Celje, Graz, Hamilton, Ravne na Koroskem, Lausanne, Szombathely), and even three times (Geneva, Darmstadt, Murska Sobota).

1994 was a very important year for our movement: the Games were held in Hamilton, Canada, so out of Europe for the first time. Also 1994 marks the year of the first International Childre's Winter Games organized by the city of Ravne na Koroskem, Slovenia.

See the lists on this website to find out which cities have organized 49 International Children's Summer Games and 7 International Children's Winter Games up to now.

Ten thousands of children aged between 12 and 15 years have participated in 274 competitions and 37 sports over 49 years! These Games have seen delegations from 555 cities in 95 countries and 5 continents.

But sport is not the only item on the agenda of these Games: They should always contribute to learning about foreign cultures and ways of life and to unite young people from all over the world in a spirit of true sportsmanship and friendship.

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