International Sports Federation for Persons with Intellectual Disability

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Virtus Sport (INAS)
TypeNot for Profit Organisation
FocusSport, disability
  • UK
Area served
c. 500,000
Key people
President — Marc Truffaut (France)
Executive Director — Nick Parr (UK)
Formerly called
Member of International Paralympic Committee

INAS (International Sports Federation for Persons with Intellectual Disability; originally called INAS-FMH, later INAS-FID, INAS and now as Virtus Sport) was established in 1986 by professionals in the Netherlands who were involved in sport and wanted to promote the participation of athletes with mental handicap in elite sports. The organisations brand name is the International Federation for Intellectual Impairment Sport, promoting sport worldwide for athletes with intellectual disability, autism and Down syndrome.[1]


The founding meeting of the first Executive Committee took place in January 1986 and the organisation became a member of the ICC – the International Coordinating Committee – the organisation that later became the International Paralympic Committee.

INAS’ original membership was just 14 nations which has steadily grown into c.80 nations today.

In 1989, the 1st World Games for Athletes with an Intellectual Disability were held in Harnosand, Sweden and in 1992, immediately after the Barcelona Paralympic Games, the first Paralympic Games for ‘Persons with mental handicap’ were held in Madrid.[2]

In 1994, INAS-FMH became INAS-FID – the ‘International Sports Federation for Persons with Intellectual Disability’ and in 1996, for the first time, a small programme of events for athletes with an intellectual disability were included in the Paralympic Games in Atlanta.

A larger programme including Athletics, Swimming and Basketball was included in the Sydney Paralympic Games in 2000, but it soon emerged that a small number of athletes had cheated the system of determining eligibility, resulting in the suspension of events — a suspension that was to remain in place until 2009.

Despite exclusion from the Paralympic Games, the Inas sport programme continued to grow considerably to incorporate more than 10 sports whilst its membership grew to cover all 5 continents.

INAS provides competition opportunities for elite athletes with an intellectual disability in Paralympic and non-Paralympic sports and is different from Special Olympics, which provides non-elite opportunities worldwide.

Eligibility and classification[edit]

Athletes with an intellectual disability are characterised by an IQ of 75 or below, significant limitations in Adaptive Behaviour and the disability must be present before the age of 18. This is based on the American Association for Intellectual and Developmental Disability definition of Intellectual Disability.

Approximately 1.5% of the population are thought to have an intellectual disability.

Current activities[edit]

Today's sport programme includes some 15 annual events, more than 4000 athletes are registered to compete at an international level, whilst many hundreds of thousands of people with an intellectual disability have the opportunity to enjoy sport through the work of member organisations.

Following a partnership between INAS and the International Paralympic Committee to overhaul the process of determining athlete eligibility, events for athletes with an intellectual disability were re-instated to the Paralympic programme by the IPC General Assembly in November 2009, in preparation for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

In 2019, INAS rebranded as Virtus.


INAS World Championships[edit]

Number Event First Edition Last Edition
Main Sports
1 INAS World Athletics Championships (Outdoor, Indoor) 1989, 2001 10th (2017), 9th (2016)
2 INAS World Cross Country Championships 2002 9th (2017)
3 INAS World Half Marathon Championships 2006 8th (2018)
4 INAS World Swimming Championships 1989 6th (2017)
5 INAS World Cycling Championships 1999 10th (2018)
6 INAS World Rowing Championships (Outdoor, Indoor) 2014, 2009 2nd (2015), 4th (2015)
Team Sports
8 INAS World Basketball Championships 1994 10th (2017)
9 INAS World Cricket Championships 2011 2nd (2015)
10 INAS World Football Championships 1994 7th (2018)
11 INAS World Futsal Championships 2012 2nd (2017)
12 INAS World Handball Championships no yet no yet
13 INAS World Hockey Championships (Field Hockey) no yet no yet
Winter Sports
14 INAS World Ski Championships (Alpine, Nordic) 2009 9th (2017)
Other Sports
15 INAS World Equestrian Championships 2017 1st (2017)
16 INAS World Table Tennis Championships 1995 7th (2017)
17 INAS World Tennis Championships 2004 7th (2018)

Note : INAS do not organise events in Taekwondo but work in partnership with World Taekwondo World Para Taekwondo Championships.

INAS Global Games[edit]

In 2004 INAS launched a new multi-sport competition INAS Global Games. The first event took place in Bollnäs, Sweden and featured more than 1000 athletes. The second Global Games took place in Czech Republic in 2009. With the re-inclusion of athletes with an intellectual disability into Paralympic competition, it was decided to move the Global Games to the year preceding the Paralympics. The next Global Games therefore takes place in 2011. After a bidding procedure, Italy was chosen as host nation. 2015 Global Games took place in Guayaquil, Ecuador, in September. The 2019 INAS Global Games will take place in Brisbane, Queensland Australia.[5]

No. Year Dates City and host country Champion Sports Events Countries
1 2004 July Sweden Bollnäs, Sweden  Poland 6 40
2 2009 7 - 11 June Czech Republic Liberec, Czech Republic  Australia 9 34
3 2011 26 September - 4 October Italy Loano, Italy  Australia 9 30
4 2015 20 - 27 September Ecuador Quito, Ecuador  Australia 8 35
5 2019 12–19 October Australia Brisbane, Australia  Australia 11

Results :

INAS European Games[edit]

No. Year Dates City and host country Champion Sports Events Countries
1 2018 14 - 22 July France Paris, France 7 + 2 TBD
2 2022 Poland CRACOW, [[]] TBD

Results :

Regional Championships[edit]

2022 asian, african and american games for first time.

INAS European Championships[edit]

inas europe


  1. ^ "High performance sport for athletes with an intellectual impairment". Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  2. ^ DePauw, Karen P; Rich, Sarah (Winter 1993). "Paralympics for the mentally handicapped". Palaestra. Vol. 9, no. 2. pp. 59–64.
  3. ^ "Events and competitions for athletes with an intellectual impairment". Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  4. ^ "International Federation for Intellectual Impairment Sport: Global Games". Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  5. ^ "Inas Global Games 2019". Retrieved 31 January 2018.

External links[edit]