The World Ethnosport Society was established in 2012 in Montreal, Canada, by two organizations – the Canada Ethnosport Society and the first ethnosport organization in the world established in 2011 – the Federation of Traditional Games and Ethnosport of Russia. In 2018, the headquarters of the World Ethnosport was transferred to Riga (Latvia).
Ethnosport is a modern folk form of sport for the preservation of traditional sports and games. Thus, each ethnic group creates its own ethnosport based on authentic gaming culture. The development of ethnosport is in line with UNESCO’s activities and programs promoting cultural diversity, the dialogue of cultures and the preservation of intangible cultural heritage for the sustainable development of society.
World Ethnosport interacts with various UNESCO projects on traditional sports and games – the UNESCO Ad hoc Advisory Committee on Traditional Sports and Games, the UNESCO Permanent Advisory Council of the Intergovernmental Committee on Physical Education and Sports (CIGEPS).
World Ethnosport implements joint programs with UNESCO category II institutions – the UNESCO International Institute for the Study of Nomadic Civilizations, Mongolia, and the UNESCO / Tencent Open Digital Library on Traditional Games, China.
The main event project of the World Ethnosport is the Ethnosport Challenge World Series of Tournaments – regular international competitions, which are held with the participation of famous athletes by the rules and equipment of local traditional games in order to preserve and develop the intangible cultural heritage of ethnic groups. Ethnosport Challenge tournaments are aimed primarily at preserving cultural ties along the Silk Road, where historically traditions of interaction between peoples have been established. The series began in 2018 and four tournaments have already taken place in Russia, Malaysia, Brazil and Lithuania.
World Ethnosport unites scientists, organizers of traditional games and ethnosport events from 48 countries on all continents.