Monday, July 29, 2013

SportAccord 2013

As I continue to look back at the past few months, I wanted to dedicated a blog to SportAccord, which put on yet another great convention this year in Saint Petersburg. I always find it a very useful week to meet with the movers and shakers that are leading and innovating in our sport world. It's a wonderful way to accomplish months of work inside a week with so many businesses and federations all in one place.

This year was especially important for me, a convention I won't soon forget. I had the great privilege to introduce the Madrid 2020 bid presentation, along with the great team working behind the campaign. I make a lot of presentations in this job, but it doesn't mean I don't get nervous first. Athletes aren't the only ones that get those jittery butterflies before race day!

I found the presentation at the ASOIF General Assembly by the IOC on the evaluation criteria for the sports particularly interesting this year. It now gives us a clear set of guidelines that we can work towards to benchmark our sport and improve.

We discussed that the four main challenges facing ASOIF are the calendar, betting and match fixing, doping and autonomy of sport. Of course, television ratings and social media continue to be huge areas of focus. As a sport, we are doing well in these areas, but there is no limit to where we can go with them.

As the convention was buzzing with talk of core Olympic sports and new disciplines, conversations naturally surfaced in relations to ITU's campaign to include Mixed Relay in future Olympic programmes. If Mixed Relay gets into the Olympics, it will ensure that National Olympic Committees develop the sport equally between men and women. The event also displays team camaraderie at its best, which makes it very exciting to watch in person and on TV.

The long, but very productive week ended on yet another high note, as it was announced at the end of the convention that ASOIF designated me to serve as a SportAccord Council Member. This is a fantastic opportunity to represent sport bodies, and a responsibility I take very seriously. It's also a great advancement for the sport of triathlon, as being a part of these organisations gives us more visibility and a strong voice in the international athletic community.  

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