Brad Camp and Rob Stull attended the UIPM Congress in Copenhagen, Denmark from October 8-11, 2009.
Congress opened with a general reception at the Hans Christian Anderson hall (in Tivoli Gardens). There we had the opportunity to meet and greet the other National Federation representatives.
Congress began on Saturday, October 11. Nearly 50 nations were present which is considered large in a non-election year. All regions of the world were represented with even Burundi sending a representative demonstrating Pentathlon activity in central Africa. The morning session consisted of reports from the President, Secretary General, Treasurer and various committees. President Klaus Schormann reported on the IOC Congress and session which was finishing at the time of our congress (Rob was able to attend much of this). Most importantly, Klaus reported that in 2013, the IOC would vote to reduce the core Olympic sports (of which Pentathlon is one) to 25 from the current 26 (all of the 26 were voted on and approved by the IOC session in Copenhagen-- the newly added sports of Rugby and Golf for 2016 bring the total sport number to 28). Rob has the IOC criteria used to evaluate the 26 sports for the vote in Copenhagen and will be sending to Brad. Criteria will be announced in 2011 for the 2013 programme commission report and subsequent IOC vote. Clearly, our future is at stake and we must be prepared to work diligently to pass the 2013 IOC vote. To this point, Klaus stated that laser pistol shooting was both environmentally friendly and still embraced our history and tradition. The focus on the 2013 IOC program evaluation and subsequent vote for the 2020 Games will be:
- History and Tradition
- Modern (schools, youth)
- Gender equality and universality
- Global outreach
- Commercially viable, costs to participate
- Fan base, television interest
We were briefed on progress by London 2012: 11km from Olympic Park to Greenwich Park (riding/combined), Competition Manager: John Woodbridge
- 10 Aug test jumping
- 11 Aug men
- 12 Aug women
Mexico presented on WS Biathlon and handed out a CD of the program. It is focused on 5-18 year olds, 14k kids are involved, and they are looking to create a video game.
Masters: Erik Polk discussed the 2010 World Cup Masters which will be in Hungary.
Technical Committee: Technical Committee Chair Mauro Tirinnanzi discussed the need for cover for the athletes in the shooting venue. He also mentioned the need to have the shooting venue near spectators where the fans can see the results of the shooting (via lights). We requested a copy of the presentation the technical committee showed as it clearly detailed the testing of the laser to date and the drawbacks of the system. His report focused on the laser issue. In brief, he supported the implementation of laser but was in favor of another year of testing - there are questions regarding registering hits on the edge of the target and shooting in the rain. This "good, but wait" sentiment seemed to be shared by the majority of those nations present.
The afternoon session invovled an update on the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) in Singapore and the 2010 World Championship in Shaunfliu County, China. Georgina from the UK delivered the athlete committee's report and supported laser while strongly urging for patience on the timing of implementation. Generally, the motions were each addressed and quickly approved, often without a full vote of congress - and few objections or abstentions. Most importantly, a modification to motion #8 (8a) was passed out at congress. This modification was a compromise worked out during lunch between Klaus and the Athlete / Technical committees. Motion 8a involved the adoption of the laser for the YOG and the World Cup Final for 2010. In addition, testing would continue on the laser through Spring and Summer 2010 with a report to be developed by Sept. 1, 2010 and subsequently voted on during the 2010 Congress in November. A copy of that revision is attached. There was very little discussion from the membership for any of the motions. When Joel briefed the calendar, he indicated that he was awaiting a decision from the USA on World cups 1&2 in 2011 and 2012 respectively.
The laser issues appeared to be already concluded before the congress. Amazingly, President Schormann had already briefed it to the IOC (relative to the Youth Olympic Games) and it was included in the IOC program guide for the YOG. It will be utilized in the YOG in Singapore and the WC Final. Again, it was the athlete and technical committees, while agreeing to the implementation, requested an extended evaluation period before implementation. They also wanted further development of targets for level A. There was discussion between the historical perspective and applying future technology to shooting. Klaus indicated that this was the way to keep the sport current and push the envelope towards true "modernization".
Following congress, the delegation had dinner at the local armory. We asked the Singapore delegation if there was any way for USAP to acquire a YOG slot without it counting against the USOC allocation. Unfortunately, we were told there was no way to achieve a slot that did not count against the 70 positions for the USA.
There was a meeting called Sunday by Ivar Sisniega and attend by 12 Pan Am Nations, Ivar and John Holland. Rob represented USAP interests as Brad had to depart to attend US meetings on Monday and this meeting was not called in advance. The meeting was to discuss the Pan American Championships for 2010. This meet will qualify additional slots for the Pan Am Games of 2011. Each country gets one slot automatic, the additional athlete slot must come from this competition. The decision was to hold the competition in November of 2010 over the weekend of 20,21,22 November in Rio de Janiero, Brazil. If Brazil is unable to conduct the event, it will be held in Mexico at the same time. They are to provide an answer the first week of November 2009. The shooting will be done under the current rules, regardless of whether Laser is passed during the November 2010 Congress. This was done to allow maximum time for training as the congress is only 2 weeks prior to this competition. Teams will be 3 men and 3 women maximum. Slots earned at this competition for the Pan Am Games of 2011 will be "country slots" not by name. On the final day of competition a "relay festival" competition will be held. Two relays of two persons and one mixed relay can be entered per country.
The UIPM Congress was a well attended event. The US delegation was respected and able to accomplish our goals of:
- Finding a politically and financially viable solution to the US World Cup question.
- Engaging the international community towards inclusion in training plans and programs.
- Identifying potential sources of revenue from international events and relationships.
- Having an informed voice present during key UIPM family discussions and deliberations.
- Strengthen, repair and create better international relations within the UIPM family through personal relationship building.
- Establishing the US as a key player in the UIPM strategy in regards to the IOC programme commission and future of Pentathlon question.