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Members from 73 countries gathered in Belgrade today for an annual General Assembly, the highest governing body of the ISF. ISF President Laurent Petrynka opened the Assembly with a welcoming speech, followed by Serbia's State Secretary for Sport Predrag Perunicic and Serbian School Sport Federation (SSSF) President Zeljko Tanaskovic.
The President welcomed new members joining the ISF representing different continents, Africa (Egypt, Ethiopia, Namibia, South Sudan, Togo); America (Mexico) and Europe (Moldova). With the new members, the ISF family now has 127 members on five continents. "I am very happy to see ISF family grow. For us the new number of 127 is not enough. We will continue to expand our membership and extend the reach of school sport internationally."
He emphasized an importance of ISF vision based on three roots: events, ISF members, and administration with the aim of becoming a world-class sport organization through achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals and promoting youth sport through health, well-being and antidoping and promoting gender equality.
ISF Secretary General/CEO Hrvoje Custonja made a report on ISF office work and set reinforcing the role of ISF as service provider to its members as the key element to implement ISF strategy.
To narrow the gender gap in school sport the President announced his decision to appoint Gabon's Valerie Lebondo to lead the matter within ISF, "Your mission is to impose a strong strategy to overcome gender gap in school sport. We trust you will do a great job and will give you all the support." The newly nominated Valerie Lebondo commented, "I feel proud to receive this mission from the President and the ISF and I can ensure that I will do my best. I invite all of you to support me in this task."
The delegates continued with a discussion about ISF Gymnasiade Jinjiang 2020, in China, and a close monitoring of the coronavirus situation in the world. In this regard, delegates agreed to adopt a statement, which will be published on isfsports.org later.
After President's report, Continental Presidents took the floor to talk about sport developments in their respective regions. The session continued with financial report for 2019 and approval of ISF budget for next year.
ISF President continued the session welcoming Brigitte Dero, VinylPlus Managing Director at ISFGA who talked about sponsorship of She Runs event in Paris in 2019. She said, "I believe it's a beginning of a long story. Instead of being a sponsor, we'd like to become a partner. We have to improve an environmental impact of ISF events before and during the event." In addition, VinylPlus also announced supporting a new event She Dunks, scheduled to take place in September 2020 in Brussels. The event is aimed at inviting girls from 10 countries to come together to practice basketball, participate in educational workshops and attend gender equality conference in the framework of European week of sport.
The floor was then taken by Yana Dmitrieva who presented the project of European Judo Schools League to the delegates. The hosts of the General Assembly SSSF's Uros Savic presented the concept behind ISF World School Games U15 that will take place in Belgrade in 2021 and preparation for it.
Finally, Peru's delegate Sophie Bordet addressed General Assembly with a proposal on developing integrity project within ISF to help safeguard athletes against abuse in sport and emphasize zero tolerance in regards to this issue.
Following reports and proposals, election for candidates for the ISF Executive Committee took place.
Morocco's Youssef Belqasmi was elected to take the Vice President position. He thanked the delegates for their trust, "I promise I will work hard up to your expections and promote justice in an effort end any kind of discrimination in sport."
Following the decision of Africa's Continental meeting Cote d'Ivoire's Mamadou Souleymane Kone will take the position of ISF Africa Continental President.
The following candidates were elected for positions of assessors.
Two honorable guests from the host country of Serbia, the President of the Olympic Committee of Serbia Bozidar Maljkovic and Vice-President Zarko Zecevic concluded the session.
The next assembly will take place in Doha, Qatar in 2021.
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