fiAs - saMbo looking to the futuRe After Ioc recognitioN
The International SAMBO Federation (FIAS) has its sights set on the next steps for continuing its global development after the sport gained provisional recognition by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in November 2018.
As a result, FIAS has now moved from the Alliance of Independent Recognised Members of Sport (AIMS) to the Association of IOC Recognised International Sport Federations (ARISF).
Speaking at SportAccord 2019, FIAS President Vasily Shestakov said:
“There is a lot of enthusiasm in the SAMBO community because people finally believe that SAMBO can be an Olympic sport one day. After a long process to become recognised, everybody is excited and we are all working with more energy.
“This step towards recognition was very difficult but it was just the first step. We now want to get full Olympic recognition as we try to become part of the Olympic Games.”
The sport of SAMBO has a rich history spanning 80 years and as organisation, FIAS has been working hard on recognition since the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. The Olympic Channel has recently started broadcasting SAMBO matches to help raise awareness of the sport and the International Federation has developed relationships with the United Nations and European Council on many charitable projects.
“We lost a bit of momentum after 1980 but since my election nine years ago, we have made the goal of being recognised by the IOC a priority,” Shestakov continued. “This truly is a team effort that has brought us to this point.
“We are now working with the media to promote the sport further. We have a good relationship with the Olympic Channel and we have focused a lot on our broadcasting, both linear and online. At our last World Championships we had over one million viewers.”
Currently over 4.5 million people practice SAMBO around the world and FIAS now boasts 88 National Federations across five continents.
“I would like to thank GAISF, the IOC and also AIMS for helping and supporting us throughout this journey,” Shestakov said.
“One of our values in SAMBO is being ‘the big family’; we aim to be friends and support each other. We also see GAISF as a family. GAISF supports all of their Members, no matter how small of big and we are really grateful for this.
“President Chuilli has been really supportive about our achievements and the future. We met with him at SportAccord and look forward to working with him more as part of ARISF.”
The 2019 World FIAS SAMBO Championships take place in Seoul, South Korea, in November, and the sport will also feature in a number of multi-sport events, including the All-Asian Games, the European Games, the Central American games and the FISU Summer Universiade.
To find out more about SAMBO, visit: https://sambo.sport/en/