We are an organization of cities

The inception of the International Children’s Games finds its roots in the profound vision of Metod Klemenc, a Slovenian sports instructor born in 1934 in Ljubljana. Klemenc’s formative years were marred by the ravages of World War II, which inflicted irreparable harm upon his family. Driven by a fervent desire to shape a brighter world founded on the principles of camaraderie, he recognized that sports held the potential to bridge divides among youth from diverse nations. Such a lofty endeavor necessitated unwavering determination and the support of likeminded enthusiasts, willing to commit their leisure time.

In pursuit of this noble vision, Metod Klemenc orchestrated the inaugural International Children’s Games on June 5, 1968, in Celje, Slovenia. This historic event welcomed the participation of nine cities: Belgrade, Brno, Celje, Graz, Kranj, Lausanne, Trbovlje, Udine, and Zagreb.

The resounding triumph of the inaugural Games fueled the organizers’ passion. Just two years later, Udine, nestled in Northern Italy, extended an invitation to European nations for another edition.

Over the years, numerous cities across the globe have taken up the mantle, hosting the Games on various occasions. Some cities have hosted them once, while others, such as Celje, Graz, Hamilton, Ravne na Koroskem, Lausanne, and Szombathely, have done so twice. Remarkably, cities like Geneva, Darmstadt, and Murska Sobota have stepped up three times to orchestrate these celebrations of youthful athleticism and camaraderie.

A pivotal milestone arrived in 1994, when the Games ventured beyond European borders for the first time, finding a vibrant home in Hamilton, Canada. This year also marked the inception of the International Children’s Winter Games, brilliantly initiated by Ravne na Koroskem, Slovenia.

Today, a remarkable legacy stands tall: over 55 International Children’s Summer Games and 8 International Children’s Winter Games, collectively engaging tens of thousands of youngsters aged 12 to 15. Across 55 years, these Games have witnessed spirited competition across 300 plus events spanning over 40 sports. Delegations hailing from more than 600 cities representing over 100 countries and spanning five continents have come together, showcasing the unifying power of sports.

However, these Games transcend mere athletics. They embody a higher purpose – fostering cross-cultural awareness, enriching understanding of foreign societies, and nurturing an unbreakable bond among global youth. In the spirit of true sportsmanship and friendship, the International Children’s Games forge connections that endure, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of young participants worldwide.

The spiritual father of the ICG, the Slovenian sports instructor Metod Klemenc, 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.”



The first Games – Celje, Slovenia.


The first Games outside of Europe –  Hamilton, Canada.

The first Winter Games – City of Ravne na Koroskem, Slovenia.

Recognised  by the International Olympic Committee


The first Games in Asia – Taipei, Taiwan.


The first Games in Southern Hemisphere – Lake Macquarie, Australia.

Leon, Mexico

July 15-20, 2024

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