The ILS is in the unique position of being recognised formally by both the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and World Health Organisation (WHO).
It was therefore with great pleasure that the ILS welcomed IOC Member Sam Ramsamy, representing the IOC President Thomas Bach, to give an opening address at the recent WCDP 2019 in Durban which was co-sponsored by the WHO.
Sam is a great supporter of swimming and lifesaving, having been a surf lifeguard in his younger days in Durban. Throughout a distinguished career, he was the Chair of the IOC Commission for Active Society, and now is the Chair of the Swim for all – Swim for Life Programme for the International Swimming Federation (FINA).
In his speech he spoke movingly about the links between the IOC and the humanitarian work of the ILS in Drowning Prevention. He pointed to the figures contained in the last WHO report on drowning, highlighting that they are highest in the WHO African Region, and thanked the ILS for bringing together the world’s experts and researchers to exchange ideas, and develop better methods to reduce this burden.
The IOC is grateful for the invitation to be represented at the conference in the presence of the WHO, and the ILS thanks Sam for his address.