IF Forum 2019 Provides Launchpad for Athlete-Centred Sports Strategies

LAUSANNE, Switzerland – Best practice strategies discussed at the International Federation (IF) Forum 2019 can act as a launchpad for positioning athletes at the heart of sports development, according to SportAccord and GAISF President Raffaele Chiulli.

Speaking in Lausanne at the conclusion of the three-day gathering, which is organised by SportAccord for International Sport Federations and supported by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Dr. Chiulli said that the vital topics discussed at the IF Forum would help to strengthen links between sport’s decision-makers and athletes.

Under a theme of ‘Athlete-Centred Sport’, delegates heard from a variety of experts on topics such as safeguarding athletes, financial wellbeing, athlete welfare and mental health, protecting clean athletes and strengthening the voice of athletes.

“Working together with our athletes is clearly the most effective way for us to develop our sports all over the world,” Dr. Chiulli said. “This involves working side-by-side with the athletes, listening to them and ensuring that our actions are helpful to them. Whether it is looking at the events calendar, empowering our athlete commissions or improving facilities for our competitors, I believe there is something we can all do.”

The importance of athlete commissions within IFs was highlighted by an engaging discussion that featured the IOC’s Head of Athlete Relations and Engagement, Kaveh Mehrabi, who spoke about the governing body’s International Athletes’ Forum.

Danka Barteková, the IOC Athletes’ Commission Vice-Chair, detailed how the commission supports building an effective network of athlete representation and constantly engages with athlete representatives to collect feedback and provide support. Sarah Lewis OBE, Secretary General of the FIS (International Ski Federation) also shared her perspective on the role of the FIS Athletes Commission, including the composition and election of its members.

Dr. Chiulli, reflecting on the IF Forum 2019, added: “I hope that our discussions will not end here. We will continue to work together for the good of sport worldwide, because we are the united voice of sports. The lessons here can be passed on to National Federations, to ensure alignment throughout sports. Good governance requires us to lead by example.”

A workshop on ‘Athlete Centred Governance’ was led by Jenny Wiedeke, Communications Director, FIS, with Engaging Coach and International Speaker Gabriela Mueller Mendoza hosting a workshop on ‘Tools and Strategies for Athlete Engagement’. Other speakers included Dr. Thomas Bach, President, IOC; Philippe Leuba, State Councillor, Department of Economy & Sport at the Canton of Vaud; Stephan Fox, President, AIMS (Alliance of Independent Recognised Members of Sport) and General Secretary, IMFA (International Federation of Muaythai Associations); Jeanette Kwakye, Olympian and Broadcaster; Virginie Faivre, President, Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games and Lausanne 2020 Athletes’ Council, Christophe De Kepper, Director General, IOC; Sébastien Gillot, Director, European Regional Office and International Federation Relations, WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency); Prof. Fabio Pigozzi, President, FIMS (International Federation of Sports Medicine) and Member of the IOC Medical and Scientific Commission – Medical and Scientific Group; and Susan Greinig, Medical Programmes Senior Manager, Safety Officer, IOC.

A special thank you goes out to  our IF Forum 2019’s Partners: EurosportMARSHNAGRANEOMSociedad Peruana de Derecho Deportivo and Sport Event Denmark, as well as Host City Partners Lausanne and the Canton of Vaud. IF Forum Partners had  the opportunity to engage and share knowledge with delegates via exclusive Partner presentations taking place throughout the Forum.

Attention has now switched to Regional SportAccord Pan America 2019, which will take place at Greater Fort Lauderdale / Broward County Convention Center from 10-12 December, 2019. The event will bring together the Pan American, Olympic and non-Olympic communities in one location, attracting sports commissions, regional, national and international governing bodies, sports ministries, rights-holders, cities and regions, commercial entities and agencies.

Registration is open for the event, hosted by SportAccord in partnership with Greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida Sports Foundation, International Sports & Health Associates and MGO.

For further information, email info@regionalsportaccord.sport or call +1 954 204 3081. You can also follow Regional SportAccord via Twitter @sportaccord by using #RSA2019 or keep up-to-date via LinkedIn and FacebookYouTube and Flickr.


The International Federation (IF) Forum

The IF Forum takes place annually and targets the specific needs of Olympic and International Sport Federations with a focus on sharing best practices and knowledge. The event is open to International Sports Federation members from ASOIF (Association of Summer Olympic International Federations), AIOWF (Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations), ARISF (Association of IOC Recognised International Sports Federations), AIMS (Alliance of Independent Recognised Members of Sport) and GAISF (Global Association of International Sports Federations) and its Associate Members.

Regional SportAccord

Regional SportAccord brings together international sports federations and organisations involved in the business of sport for their region. The three-day event is attended by international sports federations and regional leaders of the sports community. Regional SportAccord is aimed at international sports federations, cities and ministries, rights holders, subject matter experts, media and industry – represented at the highest levels.

Regional SportAccord is an offering of SportAccord World Sport & Business Summit whose stakeholders include: ASOIF (Association of Summer Olympic International Federations), AIOWF (Association of International Olympic Winter Sports Federations), ARISF (Association of IOC Recognised International Sports Federations), AIMS (Alliance of Independent Recognised Members of Sport), GAISF (Global Association of International Sports Federations), and Associate Members.