Following the International School Sport Federation Executive (ISF) General Assembly held in Guatemala in June 2012 that had included the election of the new ISF Executive, this was to be the first full meeting of the Executive. The meeting was preceded by the Technical Commission Seminar staged over two days. I was invited to attend this seminar as an observer, as I am now a member of the ISF Executive. Pam Burrage will be writing up her summary of this very interesting seminar. Detailed minutes of the Technical Commission seminar and of the Executive will eventually be posted on the ISF website – though this may not be until February. So I felt it would be helpful to record my own observations of this, my first full meeting of an ISF meeting.
Relationships with World Sports Federations
There was discussion and agreement about the need to develop the relationships between the ISF and its sports with those of the several world sports federations. There is a recognition for this to be acted on quite quickly, but at the same time the ISF management committee and the technical commissions need to discuss and plan this new direction and cooperation.
Technical Commission memberships
Several of the ISF technical commissions are requiring to recruit ( proficient in the specific sports) . These include:
Marketing and Communications
The Executive considered a Report from the newly appointed ISF professional marketing director – Hector Cabrera from Chile. and met with the Chief Operating Officer William Jefferson of HAVAS – a global marketing and communications company. The Executive resolved to appoint Havas on a three-month contract to develop the ‘brand” ISF and to suggest potential partners and sponsors of ISF. It is anticipated that the ISF management committee and perhaps the TC presidents, will be very involved in this exercise. The aspiration is to raise awareness of ISF, to increase ISF membership, develop the rationale for ISF, an to map out the relationships with international sports federations.
Once the Report is completed in March 2013, it would be reviewed after 6/9 months. The cost of this project is 44,500 Euros plus 15% Commission from any new partnerships developed.
International Olympic Academy (IOA) – Memorandum of Understanding ( Mo A) with ISF
A very interesting presentation was made to both the ISF Executive and to the Technical Commissions about the International Olympic Academy. The IOA is based in Olympia, Greece. It is directly linked to the IOC, and attempts to develop the education dimensions contained within the Olympic movement. Following meetings with the ISF management Committee , a Memorandum of Understanding ( MoA) was written up by both ISF and IOA which outlines cooperation between the two organisations. This includes co-opting representation at ISF meetings, and facilitation of various training workshops, including those for teachers, often to be staged at the IOA HQ in Olympia.
Bids to stage events (Most of these required a vote)
- Athletics – awarded to Wuhan, China, ahead of Valetta, Malta for 2015
- Basketball – warded to Limoges, France, ahead of Talinn, Estonia for 2015
- Volleyball , warded to Esponio, Portugal ahead of Izmir, Turkey
- Table Tennis, Cagliari, Italy in 2013. 141 team matches; 1000 individual matches. Included 9 disabled athletes from 4 of the participating countries (NB. ISF Executive were advised to consider the inclusion of disability athletes at all events). Twitter, the social media platform, was introduced as an aspect of the event. The results had been very encouraging.
- Basketball to be staged in Lanarca, Cyprus in March 2013. Large entry, requiring six groups of teams, each country having four games at this stage of the tournament. One game per day.
NB. ISF Executive members were asked to consider planning the travel to ISF Executive meeting in Tel Aviv, through Lanarca. There are easy 40 minute flights to Tel Aviv from Lanarca.
- Swim Cup 2013, Tel Aviv, Israel in March 2013. The Executive Committee discussed this event in the light of the recent violence and turbulent activity in Israel and Gaza. It was agreed to defer decisions until 10 January. I pointed out that although neither England nor Scotland had entered the Swim Cup in 2013, both our countries would have had to abide by the government advise about travel to Israel as communicated on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.
- Tennis – Australia in March 2013. 12/14 countries are likely to participate in the event.
- Football – France 2013. A seminar on Women’s Football will be staged in connection with the event. Details not yet available.
- Orienteering- Portugal 2013. As the local organising committee had completely changed there is a possibility that the Technical Commission will require a further site meeting.
- Athletics – 15 countries are registered. Some small changes have been made to the cultural and social programme.
- Beach Volleyball – Italy MIGHT take over this event, as Spain had had to opt out of ISF in the meantime – due to the financial crisis.
- Golf – there is still an an aspiration to stage an ISF golf event.
- Floorball – this MIGHT be staged in Slovakia in 2013
- Triathlon – there MIGHT be an ISF event in Puerto Rico in 2013
- Gymnasiade 2013 in Brazilia, Brazil It is hoped that the first Bulletin will come out during December 2012.
It has been agreed that in the future, Gymnasiades will be staged every four years, and starting this cycle in 2016. It is hoped that this arrangement would avoid future clashes of dates for both the Athletics and Swimming Cup events.
Future ISF Executive Meetings
It was recognised that reducing the Executive Meeting itself to one day was limiting the discussions. It is likely that future meetings will be held over 36 hours.
Executive Committee Working Groups
I was asked to join the existing Health and Education Working Group. In practice replacing Jean Gates who had been a member of this group.
This group felt we could develop and work some topic ideas for technical commissions to consider to build into their event planning. Possibly as an extension to cultural and education programme. If agreed, specific sports would pilot 1/2 of these ideas.
The working group felt that we could only contribute to the ongoing big agendas for health and education.