On 13th May 2016, Under the new governance of the Turkish School Sport Federation (TOSF) the new President Omur Karakullukcu of TOSF welcomed the 64 affiliated countries present at the 22nd ISF General Assembly in Marmaris, Turkey.
"Yurtta sulh, cihanda sulh"* quoted by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk were the first words pronounced by Mr. Laurent Petrynka, ISF President, who was inspired by hard work of Mr. Ataturk to strengthen peace and mutual understanding, which is one of the main objective stated in the new ISF Statutes. Inviting the member to always consider youth, education and sport as main priorities.
Since the last General Assembly and after 2 years under the Presidency of Mr. Laurent Petrynka , Mr Jan Coolen, Secretary General, introduced the ISF State of Affairs to the ISF members.
The management of ISF has been reorganised with the arrival of two new employees, which has resulted in the development of the ISF, especially in term of image and recognition.
Bilateral contacts have been established with International Sports Federations and new MoUs were signed with BWF, Special Olympics, FISU and Peace and Sport. Recently ISF signed an agreement with the European Commission through Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner concerning ISF's participation in and contribution to the European Week of Sport 2016.
To date since the General Assembly 2014, 14 countries have organised 18 sports events. As for the participation at the events 2014-2016, 62 ISF countries took part and 4 non-members took part.
721 school and selected teams participated at the sports events in between the GA 2014 and GA 2016: 348 girls' teams of which 79 selected teams and 373 boys' teams, of which 83 selected teams. This means that 48,3% of the participants were girls and 51,7 % boys, a percentage which is still constant compared with earlier years.
With the power allocated to the General Assembly, the members adopted the budget 2016-2017.
As well, Ivory Coast, Bolivia, Colombia, Albania, Cuba, Azerbaijan, Republic of Srpska, USA, Hong Kong, Madagascar, Montenegro, Pakistan, Haiti were unanimously accepted to join the ISF as affiliated members.
Resulting from the discussions of the ISF Convention (Doha 2015), the ISF members embraced the strategic VISION2030. VISION2030 is summarised under six strategic headings which advocate that school sport and the ISF should become more ambitious, more innovative, more accessible, more educational, more worldwide and more transparent. These six fundamental elements are based on the culture and history of ISF whilst incorporating new ideas. There are innovative and ambitious projects that will strike a chord with young people and involve them more completely. VISION2030 available here.
With the concern of striking for more equity and transparency, new statutes and bye-laws have been approved by the General Assembly.
Major changes can be underlined. The number of mandates in the same position as Executive Members of Technical President would be limited to three consecutive mandates.
The Secretary General is nominated by the Executive Committee instead of elected and has no voting rights, therefore, to keep the number of the elected members in the EC at 21, a new elected position of Deputy President is created.
To enhance the continental presence in the Management Committee at least one of the triumvirate President, Deputy-President and Vice-President has to be from another continent than the others.
The creation of new commissions; Youth Council, Advisory Council, Education Commission, Health & Medical Commission. The commissions are led by an Executive Committee member who will be in charge of setting up a team work.
VISION2030 highlights six projects acting as beacons and becoming advanced bases for our development plans, one of these concerns Gymnasiade. The presentation of Morocco willing to organise in 2018 convinced the General Assembly and the re-establishment of a 2 years cycle as it used to be so, between 1974 and 1986 was approved, so did the attribution to Morocco.
There are currently 4 candidates for Gymnasiade 2020, preliminary visits will take place to evaluate the capacity of the future organising country.
The General Assembly ended with the holding of the elections of several positions in the Executive Committee (7 assessors, 1 Vice president, 2 continental presidents). Robson Aguiar, Brazil (previously Continental President of America) was elected as Vice President, therefore the Continental President of America's position was eligible and was attributed to Enrique Escobar, Guatemala.
The Continental President of Oceania was attributed to Graeme Jennings, Australia resulting from the retirement of his predecessor.
Referring to the assessor's position, 1 candidate was re-elected (Below on the right: Joao Graca, Portugal, EC 2012-2016), all the 6 assessors are new Executive Members (From left to right: David Azzopardi, Malta; Gabor Balogh, Hungary; Cristina Branzoi, Romania; Naga Bira Mote, India; Ofer Shimoni, Israel; Zeljko Tanaskovic, Serbia).
Earlier that same day, the Continental hubs (ISF Africa, ISF America, ISF Asia, ISF Europe, ISF Oceania) proceeded to the creation of a Continental Board with a similar structure as the ISF Management Committee and elected among the countries of the continent concerned, next to the Continental President, one or two Continental Vice-President(s) and Continental Secretary-General.
The General Assembly concluded with the attribution of Emeritus President to Andrea Delpin (President of ISF 2006-2014) for his remarkable work.
See you in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the next General Assembly in April 2018.
*Peace at Home, peace in the World