President’s Message

Welcome message from ICG President, Igor Topole

The first International Children’s Games were held on the 5th of June, 1968, in the city of Celje, Slovenia, with the aim of engaging children aged between 12 and 15 in friendly competition. The objective was to foster friendship, respect, and understanding among children from different countries, languages, origins, and outlooks. These values were meant to contribute to world peace and align with the Olympic ideals.

Since the inception of the games, we have witnessed over 50 cities across Europe, North America, Asia, and Australia hosting both Winter and Summer Games. More than 900 cities have had the opportunity to participate in the games, providing their children with the chance to compete and refine their skills. The International Children’s Games were officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee during the meeting of the “Commission Executive du Comite International Olympique” from December 10th to 12th. IOC President, Mr. Juan Antonio Samaranch, also participated in the closing ceremony of the International Children’s Games during the 28th Summer Games in 1998 held in Logrono, Spain.

Encouragingly, the International Children’s Games have served as a stepping stone for numerous children to pursue competitive sports. Among the 50,000 athletes who have competed in the games, many have gone on to represent their cities and countries at World or regional Championships. There are too many to name, but they have gone on to participate in the Olympic games or World Championships, bringing honor and glory to their respective nations.

The year 2023 stands as a memorable milestone for the ICG family as we organized the “ICG for Ukraine” Project. The concept of “ICG for Ukraine” took root in November 2022 through the initiative of some members of the ICG Executive Committee. We recognized the need to channel our efforts towards the children in Ukraine, particularly in our member city of Uzhhorod. Given the significant challenges they were facing, organizing a football competition seemed fitting to uplift their spirits. Eventually, six teams competed in the football tournament, with the Lviv team emerging as the victor. The silver medal was secured by Zaporizhzhia, and the host city, Uzhhorod, claimed the bronze. The tournament was coordinated by the ICG Committee and the Department of Culture, Youth, and Sports of the Uzhhorod City Council. Together, they orchestrated a memorable competition that will be cherished by the players throughout their lives. The ICG remains committed to supporting similar projects, leveraging sports as a platform to promote peace, harmony, and goodwill among all nations.

Behind the scenes of each game stand the International Children’s Games Committee and the Technical Commission. These two committees consist of diligent and dedicated volunteers who collaborate closely with the host cities to ensure the games meet the highest standards, providing the best and safest facilities possible. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all the volunteers who step forward, generously contributing their time and effort to offer the children an unforgettable experience.

As I conclude, I extend an invitation to all cities to participate in the International Children’s Games family by hosting or joining as a member city. We assure you that your children will have exceptional and secure experiences, returning from the games with cherished memories and lasting friendships.

“Citius, Altius, Fortius – Communiter”

Igor Topole

ICG President

We are an Organisation of Cities

 “I extend an invitation to all cities to participate in the International Children’s Games family by hosting or joining as a member city, contact your Mayor or City Officials and get involved”

Leon, Mexico

July 15-20, 2024

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