IWAS representatives visited Thailand to check on the progress of the 2023 World Games ©IWAS

Charmaine Hooper, the chief executive of the International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS), and sports coordinator Harry Cootes have returned from Nakhon Ratchasima in Thailand happy with the progress made by the Organising Committee of the IWAS World Games 2023.

Hooper and Cootes toured the city in Thailand for five days where they held meetings with organisers on a range of topics, including accommodation, logistics, planning, transport and the sports programme.

They also spent time visiting hotels and competition venues with Organising Committee members, athletes and coaches.

The His Majesty the King’s 80th Birthday Anniversary Stadium was also viewed with guests looking at the new accessible gym, shooting range, swimming pool, tennis courts and other indoor sports facilities.

Included in the tour was a trip to the wheelchair fencing venue, which is expected to stage a World Cup event in Pattaya, as well as the inspection of three hotels to ensure they have sufficient accessibility and suitability.

Organisers told Hooper and Cootes that three shopping malls with large convention centres are included within their grand plans.

"This has the potential to be the biggest IWAS World Games on record and we went to Thailand with great expectations," Hooper said.

"We were not disappointed.

Wheelchair rugby could make an appearance at the 2023 World Games ©Getty Images
Wheelchair rugby could make an appearance at the 2023 World Games ©Getty Images

"The organisers have thought carefully about how to make the event memorable for athletes and teams and, as we have said before, never gave up on their dream to host even despite the challenges of the last couple of years.

"We are looking forward to continuing to work with them over the coming months to help realise our shared aspirations."

Organisers are planning a provisional programme of 17 Paralympic sports for the event, which is around double the amount staged at the 2019 edition in Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates.

These events include athletics, archery, badminton, indoor rowing, powerlifting, road cycling, shooting, swimming, table tennis, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair fencing, and wheelchair tennis.

Other medal sports that could be making an appearance are lawn bowls and wheelchair rugby while esports, petanque and Thai takraw ball could be included as demonstration sports.

"It was a pleasure to welcome representatives of IWAS to Thailand and to show them the facilities and organisation of the IWAS World Games 2023," Chukiat Singsung, President of the Organising Committee and the Sport Association for the Disabled Thailand said.

"Preparations are going extremely well and we look forward to the opportunity to finally realising these Games in Nakhon Ratchasima next year."

An estimated 1,200 athletes from 35 countries are expected to compete at the World Games 2023, scheduled to be held between December 1 and 9.