ILS at SportAccord – IF Forum

ILS participated in the IF Forum in Lausanne on 15 and 16 November 2011. The participants were Dr Steve Beerman, MD (ILS President), Dr Harald Vervaecke PhD (ILS Secretary General) and Ian Fullagar (ILS Legal Portfolio, ILS Sport Commission, ILS Anti-Doping Committee Chair).

SportAccord’s mission is to unite, support and promote its member international sports federations and organisations for the co-ordination and protection of their common aims and interests, communication and co-operation, while at the same time conserving and respecting their autonomy.

SportAccord is the umbrella organisation for both Olympic and non-Olympic sports as well as organisers of multi-sporting events. One of the main objectives is to unite and support international sports federations by encouraging and facilitating knowledge sharing and by providing expertise in relevant areas. SportAccord aims to promote its Members and to increase their visibility by establishing various multi-sports games that group together similar sports and put them on a worldwide stage.

The SportAccord IF Forum aims to target the specific needs of Olympic and Non-Olympic IF’s and to provide an enlightening and educational package of conference content, based on topics suggested by Sportaccord, ASOIF (Summer Olympic IF’s), AIOWF(Winter Olympic IF’s), and the IOC. It is a forum for the international sport federations and is only attended by a limited number of IF Members and a select number of speakers and partners. See

Denis Oswald , President ASOIF, Hein Verbruggen , President Sportaccord, Dr. Jacques Rogge MD, President IOC opened the Forum. René Fasel, President AIOWF closed the meeting.

The principle themes of this 5th SportAccord Forum were Sport and the City – Building an Effective Federation. The City theme focused on host city relationships for sport event bidding, staging and legacy creation to provide alignment of goals between the IF, local/state/national governments, partners and the citizens of the host communities. The Effective Federations theme focused on good governance, transparency, technology, autonomy and trends/best practices for IF’s.

Your ILS representatives attended and exchanged information with our IF colleagues. Ian Fullagar did an excellent job as the Rapporteur for the “Protecting the Autonomy of Your Sport” workshop.

This meeting provided an opportunity for a discussion with a representative from Swiss Timing concerning the use of technology to determine finish placement and athlete safety during aquatic sport. Swiss Timing is very interested in providing assistance to Lifesaving and other aquatic sports on these issues. Many technology applications to improve our sport and our reach were reviewed. Technology applications are available to improve our competitions, officiating and our audience relationship.

Tragically, there has been event deaths in Lifesaving, FINA open water swimming and triathlon in the past 2 years. We had discussion and requests from aquatic sport federations for ILS Guidelines for Safety and Risk Management for Aquatic Sport Events. As a result, ILS will provide a Working Group Report on this issue asap. I requested that ILS Lifesaving Commissioner (Peter George) and SLSA lead this project with stakeholder and ILS expert input. A draft is due in April 2012. Sportaccord Conference will provide an opportunity for IF Stakeholders Workshop on Safety and Risk Management Guidelines for Aquatic Sport Events in May 2012 in Quebec City, Canada. The final Guideline should be completed after that stakeholders meeting. The potential for ILS/ILS Member Associations to provide Safety and Risk Management Services to Aquatic Sport IF’s and events will be explored.

We learned of the value for ILS to explore athletes and regulations/guidelines for event staging to ensure the preferred athlete focus and our sport development. Lifesaving Sport should continue to align the humanitarian and sport aspects of Lifesaving, to the needs of hosts, sponsors, suppliers and volunteers with the athletes needs for fair and inspiring engagement.

Dr. Steve Beerman
International Lifesaving Federation