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ISF President Laurent Petrynka in his opening remarks welcomed the members in attendance and thanked everyone for all their work of the past year during what has been difficult circumstances worldwide.
“Since our last meeting in September, together we have all lived unique and motivating moments. The ISF, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2022, has demonstrated its ability to renew itself thanks to ISF U15 World School Sport Games. We have continued to develop through creating and developing partnerships, utilising them at our events.”
During his report, President Petrynka spoke about the successful ISF events of 2021. “No less than four events were successfully organised in three months. Given the present challenges, we must thank you all.”
As is the case with all ISF events, he continued by emphasising the importance of combining education with sport, with the activities provided at the U15 World School Sport Games in Belgrade, Serbia being a prime example of this, with the Fun & Skills zone acting as a “rallying point for the participants and bringing together international educational and sports federations to create a unique place of exchange, learning, and sharing”.
The President continued on to future events, with the attribution of ISF multi-sport events. "The dynamism of our Federation and the new concepts proposed have received remarkable support from all partners and most importantly all our member federations. Following the great experience we had in Serbia this year, major ISF events will see the world of school sport gather in France, Brazil, Ukraine and the Russian Federation in the coming years, providing a real sense of excitement.”
He concluded with a message of encouragement to all members to continue the hard work already being implemented for school sport around the world. “Let's continue this beautiful project together, to give school sport the position it deserves while strengthening it around the world, so that it is recognised for its true importance, allowing young athletes to understand the importance of values and the practice of sport.”
The meeting was also the occasion for the Local Organising Committees (LOC) of three of the next ISF multi-sport events to present to the EC the current preparational stages.
‘Union Nationale du Sport Scolaire’ (UNSS) Deputy National Director Mehdi Rahoui presented the state of affairs for all functional areas of the ISF Gymnasiade Normandy 2022 which will take place from 14-22 May next year. A total of 9 key cities in the region of Normandy will welcome over 3500 school athletes from over 70 countries to compete in 20 sports, including 3 para sports.
Following on from this was the LOC of the ISF Gymnasiade Jinjiang 2020 represented by the China School Sport Federation (CSSF). Their report included updates on the completion of event venues as well as adaptations to preparations, positioning the event to be ready to welcome school athletes from around the world to Jinjiang, P.R. China from 26 November – 3 December 2022.
To conclude the LOC reports, Russian Federation School Sport Federation ‘Youth of Russia’ President and ISF EC member Alan Abaev presented the ongoing high-level preparations for the ISF Gymnasiade Ekaterinburg 2024.
Continuing on the theme of ISF events, ISF Secretary General Hrvoje Custonja continued the meeting by presenting the report from the ISF U15 World School Sport Games 2021 that took place in Belgrade, Serbia. Having successfully gathered over 1800 participants from 36 countries to participate in 14 sports as well as educational and cultural activities, the event was a great achievement in a year limited by the global pandemic. He followed by once again thanking Serbian School Sport Federation (SSSF) President and ISF Executive Committee member Zeljko Tanaskovic for the hard work of him and his team in accomplishing this.
With four other ISF events having taken place in 2021, ISF Sports Director Josip Kosutic presented to the EC the ISF 2021 events report. He covered the ISF World School Championship (WSC) in Orienteering which took place at the same time as the U15 World School Sport Games in Belgrade, Serbia, the ISF World Cool Games and the ISF E-Sport Games, which both took place in Kyiv, Ukraine and ISF WSC Handball that was also hosted by Belgrade, Serbia. He then continued by reporting the state of affairs for the ISF events taking place in 2022, concluded by the presentation of the ISF calendar for the period 2022 – 2024.
It was then the opportunity for ISF EC member Sophie Bordet to present the report of the Integrity Committee, in her role as Chair. This included the actions taken in 2021, beginning with the ISF statement made from the General Assembly held back in June, as well as the feedback gathered from ISF Integrity Survey which was sent out to all ISF members.
“We believe that all children have a right to play sport in an environment where they are safe, and their voices can be heard. What is officially recorded regarding children should apply to any stakeholder (volunteer, member, employee, manager…) of our organization. Our focus is on raising awareness regarding safeguarding and ensuring the implementation of the ISF Policy at the field level.”
ISF Integrity Survey Feedback:
This then led to the actions which were implemented during the ISF U15 World School Sport Games in Belgrade, Serbia, presenting the results from including the topic of integrity in the Fun & Skills Zone, installing integrity workshops throughout the event, and providing integrity surveys for participants to complete.
The final point covered in the meeting covered the organisation of the 2022 ISF General Assembly, with the proposed date and location being 16-17 May in Normandy, France, during the ISF Gymnasiade taking place at that time.
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