It all begun in Toronto Canada late in 1985 by the founder of the World Masters Games, Dr Maureen Johnston.
At Toronto Canada late in 1985 Dr Maureen Johnston, the Founder of the World Masters Games conceived the idea of the World Corporate Games.
Dr. Johnston saw that there was a need for a project that offered everyone of every age and ability the chance to play sport on a worldwide basis, represent a team, wear its colours and be proud to be part of a multisport festival for businesses, organisations, institutions and societies of every size and kind. The Games were to have no barriers to participation and would be the first open equally in every respect to women and men. They would also be the first to integrate participants with disabilities. She founded Sport For Life, a company dedicated to bringing global sport competition within the reach of everyone.
The first requirement was to find a great city to stage the Inaugural Games. Many cities were visited and considered. Dr. Johnston’s choice fell upon San Francisco whose vibrant Mayor, Diane Feinstein, now a US Senator, backed the concept from the beginning.
San Francisco is the business centre of California, close to Silicon Valley and a great destination city for global visitors. The 1st World Corporate Games was staged in 1988 and was an instant success.
Concord, a nearby city in California requested the rights to Host the Games in 1989 and all events were successfully completed. In promoting and publicising the new Games a American athlete ran, swam, roller-skated and kayaked his way across the country from Concord Mass to Concord California visiting 27 other Concords en route.
Hawaii followed and became the 3rd World Corporate Games, attracting many thousands of participants from all around the world to the Islands for a very special Games with medal presentations on the beaches and under the palm trees of Oahu.
In keeping with the worldwide nature of the Games the 4th was held in 1991 in Lille France under the Patronage of President Mitterrand and presented a truly spectacular Opening Celebration in the Stadium du Nord.
In 1991 the 1st Winter World Corporate Games was held in the USA at Steamboat Colorado. Winter Games followed in Austria at Seefeld and Gastein.
London hosted the most successful World Corporate Games thus far in 1992 when 5126 participated in the great capital city. It was so successful that in 1993 the UK and Ireland Corporate Games was developed and staged in two consecutive years in Milton Keynes. Renamed the UK Corporate Games it has been used every year since then in a variety of impressive cities.
The first license to stage Games outside the world events was granted in 1991 and the 1st Australian Corporate Games began in Sydney in 1993. There were soon four Corporate Games held annually in Australia’s major cities.
Malaysia hosted a wonderful World Corporate Games in 1993
Nelson Mandela was Patron of the first multiracial worldwide sports event held in South Africa in the post apartheid era – the World Corporate Games Johannesburg 1994. 10,676 athletes participated.
One after another the great cities of the world followed including Geneva, Stuttgart, Zagreb, Budapest, Seville, Bilbao and The Hague.
In 1997 Montevideo Uruguay hosted the South American Corporate Games..
In July 2010 Moscow staged the 19th World Corporate Games.
The first All Ireland Corporate Games was held in Belfast in 2004.
Under its new name highly successful UK Corporate Games have been held in every year in a number of UK Cities since then.
For several years wonderful Games have been staged in Istanbul and Athens with Istanbul Corporate Games having been staged for over a decade.
The first Games in the Middle East began in 2009 with the Arabian Corporate Games.
Licenses have been granted to organisations in Mexico, Bermuda, South Africa, New Zealand, India, Japan and many other interesting places throughout the world from New Guinea to Nigeria. This has led Dr. Johnston to form the Worldwide Corporate Sport Community in which each Games becomes a member.
The growth of Sport For Life and the Corporate Games will be further increased with the development of the World Corporate Cup and Regional Corporate Cups in many sports.
Already there have been annual World Corporate Cups of Soccer, the first held in Manchester United in 2008, the second at Manchester City in 2009 and since 2010 at Liverpool FC in Anfield.
From its conception to its most recent staging, the Corporate Games is a truly global movement of weekend sports warriors, those everyday athletes who get fit for business and for life through participation in sport that can last a lifetime.