SEASON’S Greetings from GAISF President Raffaele Chiulli
On behalf of the entire team at GAISF, I would like to extend season’s greetings to all our Members, partners and stakeholders.
Throughout this challenging year, it has been particularly impressive to see our global sports community find new ways to move forward. Whether through virtual competitions, online webinars or social media challenges, sport has connected us when our physical contact with our friends and families has been limited. Indeed, we have seen how the world needs sport, but also how sport needs its global community.
We can all be very proud of the way our community has reacted, adapted and continued to deliver on our promises. We have continued to “walk the talk”. I would like to thank you all for recognising the need to work as one team and to embrace the values of unity, altruism and understanding.
When the scope and scale of the pandemic became apparent, we advocated for assistance for International Federations. I have also been proud that GAISF has been able to continue to support the global sports community through key services.
The GAISF Memorandum of Understanding with the International Testing Agency (ITA), an important step in the protection of clean sport, was put into action. In particular, GAISF and the ITA teamed up to support our Members with updating their anti-doping rules in accordance with the incoming 2021 World Anti-Doping Code.
Promoting clean sport and protecting clean athletes has long been a priority for GAISF, so it was clear to us that combining our expertise with the ITA’s would ensure that we could best help you in your efforts to protect clean sport and athletes. And we will continue in the days, months and years ahead to do all we can to fight doping in sport.
It was also a pleasure to welcome you all to the first-ever virtual IF Forum 2020 and GAISF General Assembly. At the IF Forum, we were able to debate various challenges and responses in light of the ongoing pandemic, covering areas such as crisis management, scenario planning and risk mitigation strategies. I truly hope that the best practices and strategies shared and discussed during the Forum will help you move forward and flourish in 2021.
Together at the GAISF General Assembly, we took key decisions to strengthen the global sports community and move sport forward. Notably, we welcomed three new Members to our diverse family of sports and those who support them: The International Federation of Teqball (FITEQ), the Association of Paralympic Sports Organisations (APSO) and the World Transplant Games Federation (WTGF). All of these organisations embody and promote the values of inclusivity and unity and, as this is the first letter they will receive as Members, I would like to again welcome them to the GAISF family.
Here, we also had the opportunity of awarding the inaugural GAISF Sustainability Award. I believe it is imperative that sport continues to take a leading role in this field, and I have been impressed to see the way that so many of you have taken up this mantle. Indeed, it was an honour to shine a spotlight on the incredible efforts of World Sailing, World Rugby, the International Volleyball Federation and many more to secure the future of our planet.
In addition to this award, GAISF also launched the Sustainability Portal, sustainability.sport, so we can promote all of your tireless efforts and innovative projects all year round. As you all know, sustainability is a subject which is very dear to my heart, so thank you for showcasing that sustainability truly is at the heart of sports.
The end of 2020 has also been a time of transition for the GAISF office. After five years of service to all the IFs Philippe Gueisbuhler is moving to FIS. Our dedicated staff remains, however, and the Council is most grateful to Nis Hatt for adding to his responsibilities at SportAccord by assuming the operational leadership of the GAISF team. GAISF members can therefore be sure of excellent service in 2021.
As individual members of GAISF, we are all drops of water, some larger and some smaller. But together, we are an ocean. Together we are stronger. So I look forward to 2021, where we shall once again enjoy incredible feats of sporting excellence that motivate and bring joy to the world.
I truly hope that everyone has a restful period, and that you are able to spend some quality time with your friends and family.
Yours in sport,
Dr Raffaele Chiulli