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FISA’s National Federations’ Conference 2015

Please see below media release from World Rowing with regards to FISA’s National Federations’ Conference

Lausanne, 11 March 2015

Representatives from more than 50 National Federations (NFs) along with FISA Council and Commission members, organising committees and FISA staff gathered last Sunday (8 March) to discuss the future of the sport following the IOC’s adoption of Agenda 2020. The Conference included presentations by FISA President Jean-Christophe Rolland and IOC Sport Director Kit McConnell.

The process actually began in 2013, with the release of the Olympic Programme report, after which FISA conducted a thorough analysis of its position within the Olympic Movement. The results inspired many new FISA programmes and helped to shape the strategic plan. The Council staged the initial NF Conference on Sunday, 31 August 2014 in Amsterdam where NF delegates considered several issues.

It continued in early December 2014 when the FISA Council reacted immediately to the release of the IOC’s 40 Agenda 2020 recommendations by meeting the next weekend to discuss the impact of these recommendations on the sport. “FISA’s Strategic Plan already aligned with most of the elements of Agenda 2020 and the FISA Council was able to use the IOC’s recommendations to fine-tune the plan,” says Rolland. “The inclusion of our national federations is vital to the success of the entire process.” The NF’s conference was the first opportunity for FISA to open the dialogue with these key players after the adoption of Agenda 2020 by the IOC.

The purpose of the conference was to inform NFs about the implementation of FISA’s strategic plan, in line with the IOC Agenda 2020 recommendations, and to create a forum for discussion amongst these key stakeholders on their roles in aligning the sport of rowing with Agenda 2020. It provided the ideal opportunity to evaluate and integrate the best solutions.
The morning session was dedicated to informing the national federations and commission members about rowing and the Olympic Movement. Rolland presented the background of Agenda 2020 and how the recommendations impact the sport of rowing. Executive Director Matt Smith then described the five pillars of FISA’s strategic plan re-assessed to address Agenda 2020.

FISA was honoured to introduce IOC Sport Director Kit McConnell to the conference delegates. McConnell’s presentation demonstrated how the IOC plans to work with international federations to find flexible solutions that reflect the Agenda 2020 recommendations. “This conference was a great opportunity to meet directly with FISA and their member national federations to discuss the implementation of the Olympic Agenda 2020 and wider Olympic considerations. The energy and positivity of the Rowing family is clear, and the leadership in the federation is equally apparent. We look forward to continuing this open dialogue,” says McConnell.

The afternoon break-out sessions allowed NFs to discuss and develop ideas on how each federation can address universality and gender equality; two of the key elements of Agenda 2020 and FISA’s strategic plan. This approach underlines the FISA objective to not only find solutions at the international level, but also to align each of the national federations with the broader goals and objectives of the IOC and FISA.

“We have clearly understood from the IOC that we must lead by example. It is important that we involve the entire rowing community in the discussion as we work to inspire change in our sport,” says Rolland. “This conference was one important step in the process.”

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