Our bid to host the 2027 World Games

4 May 2022

  • Dr Tim Shriver, Chair of Special Olympics International and an internationally renowned disability rights activist has issued a clarion call for governments, business, philanthropists, and the community to get behind Australia’s bid to host the World Games in Perth in 2027.  Watch Dr Shriver’s invitation here.
  • The World Games, which is twice the size of the Paralympics, has never been held in the Southern Hemisphere and will attract 8,000 athletes from 170 nations, 19,350 international visitors, 7,650 interstate visitors and 500,000 spectators.
  • The $136 million World Games will return an estimated $212 million in economic benefits as well as legacy goals across the domains of inclusion, health, education, employment, & justice.

Special Olympics Australia has welcomed Dr Tim Shriver’s invitation to the Prime Minister, Premier, business leaders, philanthropists, and the community to bid to host the World Games.

Western Australian-based Board member and Chair World Games 2027 Bid Committee, Ms Tanya Brown said, “Dr Shriver’s clarion call for Australia to get behind the bid and support the Special Olympics athlete, volunteer and family community around the globe was heart-warming and we are confident that governments, corporates and philanthropists will respond positively”.

“To hear Dr Shriver’s personal invitation for Australia to bid to host the most inclusive humanitarian event in the world is exciting in our journey to become a more inclusive and welcoming society.”

“The World Games is not just a sporting event; it is so much more.  It is a whole-of-community, global event that offers competition sports as well as a range of off-field activities such as research and policy symposia, leadership gatherings, the Law Enforcement Torch Run and health screenings.”

“It is fitting for such a sport loving nation that, through the catalyst of sport, we can achieve systemic change for our nation and change views, change lives, change our nation and change the world.”

Special Olympics is the largest health organisation in the world for people with an Intellectual Disability (ID) servicing over six million athletes globally.  It provides people with ID opportunities to participate in grassroots community sports, social inclusion, and lifestyle programs, as well as providing a unique ‘games pathway’ to participate and compete in State, National and World Games.

“Let me win.
But if I cannot win,
let me be brave in the attempt."

- Special Olympics Athlete Oath

Special Olympics Australia have been humbled by the enormous support shown to them in proposing to host the first ever World Games in the Southern Hemisphere.  Professional services firms have rallied together and provided almost $1 million in pro bono support to ensure Australia submits a competitive bid of the highest quality.

Special Olympics Australia have been proactively briefing State and Federal Ministers and Members of Parliament who have expressed their interest and support on a bipartisan basis.

More than 60 Letters of Support have been received representing Western Australian and Australian industry groups such as government, private enterprise, resources, sports, media, and not-for-profits.

The bid has been developed over the last two years and is due to be lodged on 15 July 2022.

Held every four years, previous host cities include Los Angeles, Dublin, Shanghai, Abu Dhabi and, in 2023, Berlin.  Attracting high profile speakers and celebrities, previous Games have been attended by Nelson Mandela, Michelle Obama, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Muhammad Ali with entertainment provided by U2, Stevie Wonder, Avril Lavigne, and The Corrs.

A Business Case prepared by Ernst & Young through a $150,000 grant provided by the WA State Government conservatively estimated the cost of hosting the World Games in Perth in 2027 to be ~$136 million, with an economic return of $212 million.  With existing facilities and no capital spend required, Perth has the capacity to host:

  • Approximately 8,000 athletes from 170 nations competing in 26 sports over 10 days.
  • Approximately 19,350 international visitors inclusive of athletes, coaches, carers, officials, and distinguished guests.
  • Approximately 7,650 interstate visitors inclusive of athletes, coaches, carers, and spectators.
  • More than 500,000 spectators cumulatively over the course of the sporting program, as well as an opening ceremony and closing ceremony held at Optus Stadium.

For anyone wishing to get involved, visit Perth2027.org and register:

  • I will PARTNER (organisations, government)
  • I will CHEER (supporter, family, friends)
  • I will VOLUNTEER (volunteers)
  • I will CARE (health professionals)
  • I will COMPETE (athlete)
  • I will GIVE (everyone)

“To quote the Special Olympics Athletes Oath “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt. We are bravely putting Australia forward as a nation ready to embrace change and we will win the bid and bring this extraordinary, life-changing experience to our country” said Ms Brown.



Special Olympics Australia strives to ensure that everyone living with an intellectual disability can participate in sport. We provide:

  • Weekly grassroots sporting, recreational, social and health activities in local communities around Australia.
  • An environment where people with an intellectual disability can develop physical fitness, build self-esteem, demonstrate courage, and make friends.
  • Competition pathways ranging from weekly club events, to regional, state, and national games, culminating in the Special Olympics World Games.