Another first for IFMA and Muaythai this year at the SportAccord Convention as IFMA now sits among the IOC recognised federations in ARISF. IFMA Vice President Rafal Szlachta and Sport Director Charissa Tynan had the opportunity to attend the ARISF/IOC workshop which was honoured with the presence of speakers from the various IOC departments.
ARISF President Rafaelle Chiulli opened the session and reported to the ARISF members on the recent meeting between the ARISF council and IOC President Dr. Thomas Bach. He said “We recognise the value of IOC recognition, not only at the international level, but also for the work of our National Members with their NOCs. It cascades down to national level.”
Kit McConnell, IOC Sport Director then gave a warm welcome to the representatives of the 37 ARISF member federations, giving a special welcome to the newest ARISF members Cheerleading (ICU) and Muaythai (IFMA) noting that the addition of the two federations into ARISF clearly demonstrates that the doors are open. He reinforced the availability of the various IOC services available to the recognised federations and stressed the importance of it not being a one-way service, but rather a way for the IOC to reach out and engage the value brought by the IFs to the Olympic movement. He said that Agenda 2020 sends a strong message of inclusion which is identified by the flexibility given to Organising Committees on additional sports.
Of particular interest was the explanation on the process of host city candidatures and determination of the sports to be included in the 2024 programme. Front running bidding cities Paris and Los Angeles will take centre stage at the IOC Session to be held in Lima, Peru from the 13-17 of September this year. He explained that following the new process to select sports for the Olympic programme, all sports are to be considered event by event with the doing away of the “core sports” list. While the 2024 candidature is based on the sports that are included in the 2020 edition for Tokyo, these will need to be confirmed by the IOC session, while the IOC Executive Board would then decide on the quotas and events to be included for those sports. The option on the five additional sports would then be considered by the host city winning the bid in September.
Other presenters from the IOC included Pacquerette Girard Zapelli, Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer, who spoke about the importance of IFs to not only have in place but also implement the regulations on manipulation of competitions. She outlined the IOC’s “Three Pillars Strategy”: Regulation + Awareness + Intelligence. Under the pillar on “regulation”, she advised that IFs’ integrity regulations should observe the minimal criminal law provision issued by the UNODC. She also encouraged IFs to commit by putting a signature on agreements such as the UN convention against international organised crime.
She then informed the members about the resources available to reinforce the pillar of “awareness” such as the Integrity E-learning tool as the Integrity in Sport Handbook developed in collaboration with Interpol.
Antoine Goetschy gave an informative presentation on the Youth Olympic Games. He started by stating what he called a fact that all of us would agree, that “Competitive sport is GREAT for Youth”, outlining that as children enter into their teens, they seek and find more and more reasons to give up the practice of sport. The YOG aims to attract the youth by offering better incentive to stay involved in competitive sport. Of particular interest were the opportunities for IFs to be involved in the games alternative to being a medal sport, such as “Sport Showcasing” where by sports may organise a demonstration in a festival format or “Sport Initiation” whereby sports could organise workshops to introduce their sport to new audiences. He explained that for the 2023 Summer YOG, sports to be included into the “sport showcasing” would be decided on in Lausanne 2020, while the those to be added in the “Sport Initiation” portion would be in discussion until 2018.