Next year, Cleveland, OH will be hosting the Pan-American Masters Games (PAMG), an event that showcases the athletic abilities of over 7,500 masters athletes from more than 50 countries. Thousands of spectators from around the world will gather in what is projected to be the largest international gathering in Northeast Ohio’s history.
Today, PAMG just announced its official sports program that will feature 26 sports and 30 disciplines, 11 of which will offer parasport adaptive games offerings. Among these sports is, you guessed it, pickleball!
PAMG is a celebrated quadrennial event hosted by the International Masters Games Association (IMGA), an organization founded in 1995 that’s dedicated to promoting the idea that sports are for everyone through internationally hosted multi-sport festivals. IMGA believes that World Masters Games (WMG) helps promote the idea that healthy, active lifestyles are conducive to building relationships and a sense of community.
Pickleball joins the ranks of other popular sporting events such as baseball, cycling, archery, and swimming. The official list of all 26 sports can be found on the Cleveland Masters’ website.
The Greater Cleveland Sports Commission (GCSC) has taken on the responsibility of leading the coordination efforts of PAMG within the city of Cleveland. The festivities surrounding the event are projected to boost Cleveland’s local economy by over $18 million in direct spending by event participants and spectators.
Rachael Stentz-Baugher, the Executive Director of the PAMG and Senior Vice President of Community and Corporate Engagement of the GCSC, believes that Cleveland will be the perfect city for hosting a world-class sporting event.
“Our team has been hard at work over the last several months planning an event local, national and international masters athletes will enjoy. Our team has been hard at work over the last several months planning an event local, national and international masters athletes will enjoy. With our organization’s focus on diversity, equity and inclusion, our team felt it was important to offer parasport options for athletes of all abilities to participate in and enjoy this multi-cultural celebration of active aging.”Rachael Stentz-Baugher, the Executive Director of the Pan-American Masters Games and SVP of Community and Corporate Engagement of the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission
Registration to participate in the event is open to all masters athletes, meaning over the age of 30. PAMG seeks to showcase the idea that people can continue embracing their health and well-being at any stage in life.
The games gave seen athletes over 100 years of age participate, proving that while the event can be highly competitive, its core values are focused on celebrating the human experience. PAMG’s primary goal is to bring thousands of people together from all over the world to celebrate the sports that they love.
This is an incredible opportunity for the worldwide pickleball community to unite and rally together in an internationally recognized sporting event. While there are many huge national tournaments within the United States, there are few events that are inclusive of pickleball’s growing worldwide fanbase.
Events like the World Pickleball Championships (WPC) help to bring the international pickleball community together. Therefore, the inclusion of pickleball in PAMG is another huge step in the right direction for unifying pickleball fans from all over the world.
If you’re interested in bringing your pickleball game to the world stage, registration for PAMG will open in late summer this year! Be sure to follow PAMG’s website for more information about the event and all updates regarding the registration process.
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