The Iowa sports Foundation, Inc. (ISF) was created June 20, 1986 as a non-profit entity.
Iowa is one of 40 states nationwide which feature Olympic-style sports festivals known as State Games. New York held the first State Games Festival when in created the Empire State Games in 1978.
Iowa was the 36th state to join the fold when the Summer Iowa Games began in 1987 and joined the membership of the National Congress of State Games (NCSG). The NCSG was organized for the purpose of sharing and developing information and resources to improve State Games and make the events more beneficial to amateur athletes nationwide.
The ISF's most notable events are the Summer Iowa Games and Winter Iowa Games annual sports festivals. In addition, the ISF promotes health, fitness, and positive lifestyles through health education programs. The nationally recognized and highly successful Lighten Up Iowa program has served as the pilot program for 18 states throughout our nation.
The 33 member board of directors is made up of former governors and athletic and corporate leaders from all parts of the state. Corporate sponsorships and entry fees provide the major source of funding for the ISF. Historically, the ISF has not received any state or federal funding. However, in 2003 and 2006, Senator Tom Harkin awarded the ISF a congressional earmark to continue the Lighten Up Iowa program.