Summary of the 2017 Annual General Ordinary Congress of the FIRS in Nanjing (China)
Roller Games and Olympic Games
The General Congress of the International Federation of Roller Sports started with the showing of an introduction video to the first two hosting cities of the World Roller Games (Nanjing 2017, Barcelona 2019), and to the first Youth Olympic Games welcoming skateboarding in 2020: Tokyo. Let's remind that skating is one of the few sports to generate that many different disciplines.
Partnership with the Soy Luna Brand
The FIRS signed an agreement with the Soy Luna brand for the promotion of Artistic Skating on wheels. If you don't know (yet) this Argentinean TV show, it is about skating and you can learn more about it here: "Soy Luna", the TV show for teens that kindles quad skating vocations.
Closer from the I.O.C.
The new headquarters of the FIRS are located in Lausanne, Switzerland, to get closer to the Olympic body. Quite a logical move, with the entering of skateboarding into the Olympic Games. Then followed speeches of the Olympic representatives in the context displayed on the giant screen of the room: "Road to Tokyo 2020".
Ching Kuo Wu's speech, a member of the Olympic Committee, recognized the work of the FIRS to enter the 2020 Olympics. Then followed Kit McConnell's speech, the sports director of the IOC (International Olympic Committee), who reminded the partnership between the FIRS and the ISF (International Skateboarding Federation), mentioning that it was the first time that an Olympics organization (Tokyo) had the choice to add new sports themselves — it used to be a choice that had to be made by the IOC — and that skateboarding had been selected unanimously within the Olympics committee.
The FIRS proposed to include skating at the 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympics. The subject was validated one week later during the IOC meeting of March 15th, in South Korea.
Having a partnership between a federation and a private company isn't a new thing. It also exists in other disciplines, like the IIHF (International inline Hockey Federation) or the NHL (National Hockey League) in ice hockey.
The speech of Jenny Mann, the IOC Head of Sport Partnership & Coordination, presented various support programs for Olympics sports.
During the speech of a representative of the Organization Committee for Skateboard in Tokyo 2020, light was cast on the vigilance point of the skateboard specificity. Skateboarding benefits from million-euros sponsorship contracts, and sponsorship collaborations have always been in the history of skateboarding, dating back to the foundation of the sport.
Beginning of the Ordinary Congress
With 54 present countries, 56 voting countries and 184 powers, the quorum is reached. The Ordinary Congress starts by a unanimous validation of the minutes of the previous ordinary congress.
Statement of the president, Sabatino Aracu, reminding that he was a parliamentarian for 20 years and worked in the private sector. Four years ago, he made the decision to drop all his other attributions to focus on the presidency of the FIRS. He said his mandate was positive overall, through the fact that skateboard enters the Olympics in 2020. Dozens of thousands of children practice skating in the 30 skating clubs of Nanjing. Each club counts thousands of children. The process started in 2015 and materializes through the Roller Games with the involvement of the city into the development of skating.
New Evolutions of 2017
The creation of skateboard world series sanctioned by the FIRS is already on the agenda.
The FIRS wants to provide sports coaches to African countries for all disciplines, to train local African coaches, and thus help the development of the sport in Africa.
Voting for the presidency of the FIRS: Sabatino Aracu is the only candidate at the (re)election of the presidency of the FIRS. A motion was carried by Spain and supported by Argentina for the vote not to be taken by secret ballot. The motion was voted and adopted, also confirming the new 4-year mandate of Sabatino Aracu as the president of the FIRS.
Amendments to the Statutes of the FIRS
- Proposal of amendment by the executive board of the FIRS concerning the modification of the technical committees' names, so that their designations would be standardized: validated by a majority of votes.
- Proposal of amendment by the executive board of the FIRS concerning the obligation of designating an auditor or an auditing firm to control the finances of the FIRS, and thus enable the statutes to be in line with the Swiss rules of their new headquarters, and for the sake of financial transparency: validated by a majority of votes.
- Proposal of amendment by Germany concerning the appointment of the heads of technical committees within each committee, instead of the appointment of the president combined with a list of head committees: refused by a majority of votes.
Report of the Secretary-General
The year 2016 witnessed 7 world championships (all disciplines, excepted skateboard and roller derby), gathering 82 countries and over 3.000 competitors.
The FIRS benefits from 8 employees and members of the team.
Let's note the arrival of 5 new federations, affiliated to the FIRS: Afghanistan, Armenia, Belarus, Norway, and Togo. Validated by the majority. The FIRS now gathers 108 federations.
The financial conditions of the FIRS are good, especially thanks to the Roller Games organization fees of Nanjing and Barcelona, of several hundreds of thousands of dollars, that have enabled the FIRS to pass the 1-million-euro bar for their annual budget.
The financial statement of the FIRS is voted by the majority.
The 2018 World Championships
The hosting countries are announced:
- Artistic Skating: Paris, France, will host the Worlds, from October 1st to 14th, 2018
- Speed Skating: Netherlands
- Freestyle Skating: Netherlands
Presentation by the Barcelona 2019 Roller Games Organization
The organization presented their strategy and vision step by step, from the 2015 assignment of the Games, to the work on the foundations in 2016, the learning from the Nanjing organization in 2017, the operational planning in 2018, and finally the unfolding in 2019. All in all, a very well structured and very professional approach.
The novelty of this Ordinary Congress was the awarding of an honorary prize by the president to congratulate a person having contributed to develop the skating world. For this first edition, the award goes to Romano Maria Cacciani, the owner and founder of the Vesmaco floor.