What Are the World Masters Games?

What are the World Masters Games?

The World Masters Games are an international multi-sport athletic competition held every four years by the International Masters Games Association (IMGA) for athletes over the age of 30 and into their middle age and senior years.

The games are held in the year following the Olympics. The first World Masters Games were held in 1985 in Toronto, Canada. In 2013 (the 8th hosting), the Games were held in Torino, Italy. The next Games (the 9th hosting) will be held in 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand.

In 2021 the Games will be held in Japan, the first hosting in Asia. This auspicious 10th hosting will be in the western part of Japan—the Kansai region.

The Objectives and Significance of the Kansai World Masters Games


  1. To promote lifelong sports and bring energy and vitality to an aging society
    • To communicate to the world the fun and importance of lifelong sports
    • To achieve energy and vitality in an aging society through health-oriented lifestyles
  2. To invigorate the region through sports tourism
    • To give participants from over 100 countries a satisfying experience of sports tourism in the Kansai region
    • To invigorate the region by promoting the culture and tourist attractions of local areas
  3. To communicate "Hanayaka Kansai : The Flower of Japan—Kansai" to the world
    • TTo communicate the wonderful aspects of Kansai's culture, tourism, industry, environment, etc.

2.The Significance of Hosting the Games

  1. Kansai as a progressive region for lifelong sports
    • The playing of lifelong sports in the Kansai region is spreading and becoming well-established
    • Wakayama Prefecture is the place of origin of Japan Masters Athletics; the 1st and 3rd International Gold Masters, comprised of athletics and swimming, were held in Kyoto City
    • The games can promote Kansai as a hub of lifelong sports in Asia
  2. To bring the vigor generated by the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics to the Kansai region
    • To link the vigor generated by the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics to invigoration of the Kansai region as well
  3. To promote industries related to health and sports
    • Kansai has one of the world's three largest sports industries after Oregon in the U.S. (home to Nike) and Herzogenaurach in Germany (home to Adidas and Puma)
    • The Games will invigorate Kansai-based industry through a sports movement centered on sports for people in their middle age and senior years
  4. To demonstrate the culture of volunteerism and hospitality that exists in the Kansai region
    • Host a tournament of high quality that offers human warmth to visitors through the spirit of volunteerism and hospitality rooted in the Kansai region

Steps to the Selection of Kansai

FY2013 Achievements

  1. September 26: Establishment of the Preparatory Committee
  2. November 6 to 10: IMGA Inspection (inspection of athletic facilities in Hyogo, Tottori, and
  3. November 10: Signing of Basic Agreement for Hosting the Games