Slovenian professor, Metod, Klemenc, started the International Children’s Games to promote international peace and friendship through sports. The ICG has grown into a global competition and cultural exchange with participation from 2,000 to 3, 000 athletes, coaches, and city leaders from 50 to 100 cities each year. Approximately 40 to 50 countries are represented making the ICG the largest mulit-sport international youth games for 12-15 year olds in the world and a recognized member of the International Olympic Committee
The 2004 International Children’s Games were nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize!!!
Team Chesterfield was created in 2004 by Gretchen Simard, who has been solely responsible for Chesterfield receiving an invitation to participate in this major international event each year. By 2008, Ms. Simard established the Team Chesterfield Scholarship Fund as a 501c3 Public Charity for the purpose of sending a delegation to represent Chesterfield County to the ICG each year. The program is run entirely by volunteers including the coaches who are some of the best in all of Virginia (Including Olympian speed skater, Scott Koons, and 2 time Olympian/World Champion/World Record holder Swimmer, Kate Ziegler)
Chesterfield students and coaches have participated in the ICG in: Cleveland, Ohio; Bangkok, Thailand; Reykjavik, Iceland; San Francisco, California, Athens, Greece; Manama, Bahrain, Kelowna, Canada, Lanarkshire, Scotland; Daegu, Korea; Ufa, Russia; Windsor, Canada; Lake Macquarie, Australia; Alkmaar, Netherlands; New Taipei City, Taiwan; Kaunas, Lithuania; and have received an invitation to participate in Jerusalem, Israel.
The ICG is modeled after the Olympics and includes an Olympic style opening ceremony with aspects such as raising of the Games flag, lighting of the torch, international parade of athletes, living in an athlete’s village, and trading pins. A summer games is held each year and approximately every 2 years a winter ICG is held. Each year 8 to 10 Olympic sports are included and Chesterfield students have participated in the sports of gymnastics, swimming, basketball, soccer, golf, tennis, track and field, figure skating, speed skating, and even curling.