The World Scholar-Athlete Games welcomes as many scholar-artists as scholar-athletes, and the concept has drawn international acclaim.
Watch This Video

Sign up today and stay up-to-date on the latest news and events with our monthly e-newsletter.

"Extraordinary! I wish there had been a World Scholar-Athlete Games program in my youth." - President Bill Clinton

About the Institute for International Sport

The Institute for International Sport (IIS) was founded in 1986 by Daniel E. Doyle, Jr. The basic concept of the Institute drew on Doyle's overseas experiences in the 60's and 70's. While traveling in Europe as a prep basketball player, and later visiting Cuba as Trinity College's head men's basketball coach, Doyle recognized the power of sport to foster friendship and goodwill.

While a student at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, Doyle drafted a position paper outlining what is now the IIS. After sharing his idea with several universities, including the University of Rhode Island (URI), Doyle convinced then URI president Edward D. Eddy and then Rhode Island Governor Edward DiPrete to host the Institute. On July 1, 1986 the IIS officially opened in a one-room office and Doyle's dream became a reality.

The Institute has gone on to establish a number of programs including the annual National Sportsmanship Day, the Scholar-Athlete Games and the World Youth Peace Summit.

The Institute for International Sport remains guided by international leaders in the academic, business, government and athletic communities. The IIS has fostered an extraordinary number of global friendships through sport, culture and education, connecting tens of thousands of people. As the Institute continues to grow in the 21st Century, the organization's mission remains the same.

Sports Corps and Belfast United
(Models for the World Scholar-Athlete Games)

The Institute's first program (Sports Corps) launched in September of 1987, sending volunteers to Ireland, Burundi, and Czechoslovakia. They worked with impoverished youth, establishing a variety of sports education initiatives. Expanding on the Sports Corps model, Belfast United began in 1989 to foster cross-religious communication in Northern Ireland, bringing together Protestant and Catholic youths on athletic teams. Over 1,500 young men and women participated in Belfast United during its ten-year run, and its impact was recognized by a number of political and educational figures from Northern Ireland when the peace accord was signed.

In February of 1990, Doyle presented a plan for the World Scholar-Athlete Games (WSAG), a further expansion of the Sports Corps and Belfast United model designed to reach many countries around the world. Two years later, the WSAG was officially announced by Senator Bill Bradley, first Chair of the WSAG, who predicted that the Games would become "A very important part of international sports, in a manner similar to the International Special Olympics." The inaugural WSAG was held from June 20 - July 1, 1993; a total of 108 countries and all 50 states sent delegations. Its success resulted in other Scholar-Athlete Games (SAG) held around the world, including the 2006 World Scholar-Athlete Games that featured speakers such as former President Bill Clinton and former Senator George Mitchell, as well as the 2008 United States Scholar-Athlete Games, at which General Colin Powell delivered the keynote address.

The Next Chapter

More than 15,000 students have enrolled in the Scholar-Athlete Games since 1993. Recognizing the energy these participants have upon leaving the SAG but not necessarily having the tools to put that energy into action, the Institute for International Sport celebrated the inaugural World Youth Peace Summit (WYPS) in July 2011. The WYPS mission is to develop current and former scholar-athletes and scholar-artists from around the world into successful peace advocates. By providing the opportunity to study peace policies through four days of intensive series of lectures and workshops, the Summit will furnish participants with practical knowledge of how to develop and implement their own peace initiatives successfully in their home communities.

An important outcome of the WYPS will be the the Office of Peace Projects. This office will support the implementation of the thousands of Pathways to Peace initiatives that result from the WYPS. The office will also provide administrative direction, information, and opportunities to network with other organizations and people who might be helpful in advancing their efforts.

IIS Board of Directors



RUSSELL E. HOGG, Chair Emeritus, Former CEO MasterCard International




"Extraordinary! I wish there had been a World Scholar-Athlete Games program in my youth."
- President Bill Clinton
 "This inspired idea will have a tremendous impact on world peace for generations to come."
- Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel