IWAS have launched a solidarity programme to assist athletes to attend the IWAS Women’s World Games ©IWAS

The International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports Federation (IWAS) have announced a solidarity programme for the inaugural IWAS Women's World Games.

The programme will be open to countries and athletes who are not currently IWAS members, offering them the chance to compete at the Games, which will take place from August 27 to September 1 in Worcester. 

Sporting bodies and impairment and sport-specific organisations will be able to enter athletes who have not previously been able to compete at the IWAS World Games.

The programme has been announced in celebration of International Women's Day today.

"The IWAS Women's World Games are a landmark event aimed at promoting and providing opportunities for women in sport, globally," said Rudi Van Den Abbeele, IWAS President.

"Following discussions with the IWAS Executive Board, we believe this opportunity should be inclusive to allow more athletes from more nations to benefit from this unique chance and through the solidarity programme, we hope to achieve this."

The inaugural IWAS Women's World Games are set to take place in Worcester, with five sports set to feature on the programme in the British city.

Athletics is among the sports on the programme, along with Para-badminton, swimming, table tennis, Para-taekwondo and wheelchair fencing.

Wheelchair fencing will be one of five sports to feature at the Games ©Getty Images
Wheelchair fencing will be one of five sports to feature at the Games ©Getty Images

Competition will take place at Worcester University Arena, which is the first facility in the country to be purpose designed for athletes with physical impairments.

Malvern College and Nunnery Wood Sport Complex will also stage swimming and athletics events.

Maryam Shokouhi, one of three female members at large elected to the IWAS Executive Board in December, claimed the Games would help to progress women in sport.

"International Women's Day celebrates the power of women, and to be powerful we must believe in our abilities," she said.

"The IWAS Women's World Games will feature worldwide achievements of women forging positive visibility of them through sport.

"With the solidarity programme, this is your chance to push for progress and inspire the world.

"Happy International Women's Day."