IRF joins global family of International Sports Federations

IRF joins global family of International Sports Federations

The IRF is excited to announce that we recently joined with other leading international sports federations to participate in a number of virtual meetings, forums and assemblies focused on the future of international sports.  These virtual sessions occurred from 6-11 November and were hosted by SportAccord, Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF), Alliance of Independent Members of Sport (AIMS) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC).  Among the many dignitaries addressing the sessions were IOC President Thomas Bach, GAISF President Raffaele Chiulli, AIMS President Stephan Fox, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Athletics President Lord Sebastian Coe, and HSH Albert II, Prince of Monaco and many others.  We look forward to attending SportAccord Summit 2021 that is scheduled to be held 23-28 May in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

In an historic first, IRF President Joseph Jones and IRF Secretary Sue Liell-Cock were honored to represent the sport of rafting, IRF national federation members, and IRF rafting athletes around the world in this important annual gathering of global sports organisation leaders.  With invitations to attend the 2020 International Federation (IF) Forum, the 2020 General Assembly of AIMS, and the 2020 General Assembly of GAISF, the IRF continues to grow its presence and recognition within the global sports community as the legitimate world governing body for rafting sport.

We are pleased to report that during the AIMS General Assembly, AIMS members voted unanimously to recognise the IRF – along with other GAISF Observers – as observers in the AIMS family of International Sport Federations. With this change in the AIMS statutes, the IRF has officially become a part of the AIMS family and is invited to participate in all AIMS functions and activities. After the IRF becomes a full GAISF member, we will automatically become a full member of AIMS.  AIMS President Stephan Fox, who also serves as GAISF Vice President, has pledged to help the IRF and other GAISF Observers to reach this goal.  The IRF is extremely grateful for the support of President Fox and AIMS and we look forward to taking full advantage of our new status in AIMS.

As a signatory to the Sports for Climate Action Framework (UNFCCC’s Sports for Climate Action initiative) and a GAISF Observer, the IRF was also invited to participate in the IOC’s annual Sustainability Workshop 2020. Sustainability is one of the three pillars of Olympic Agenda 2020 alongside credibility and youth.  As the leader of the Olympic Movement, the IOC has developed a Sustainability Strategy that focuses on infrastructure and natural sites, sourcing and resource management, mobility, workforce, and climate. The IRF was honored to attend the IOC workshop as we aim to provide simple, practical and essential information on key aspects of sustainability to be better able to navigate the complexities of this subject and develop effective sustainability programmes.

Finally, we are pleased to report that prior to these meetings, President Jones and General Secretary Liell-Cock participated in a successful virtual meeting with GAISF membership staff that was focused on the remaining requirements for GAISF membership. During the meeting we were assured that GAISF will actively asist the IRF in becoming a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code. Becoming a signatory of the WADA Code is one of the steps necessary for the IRF to progress in the fulfillment of GAISF critera and to ensure that the IRF anti-doping program is monitored by WADA. In 2014 the IRF fully embraced the WADA Code and has been closely following Code guidelines and conducting anti-doping tests at its events since then. With the assistance of GAISF, the IRF will present its finalised application to WADA before the end of 2020 and expects to be approved as a Code signatory before March 2021.

The IRF was awarded GAISF Observer Status in October 2019 by the GAISF Council.  GAISF Observer Status grants international federations access to the GAISF General Assembly and the opportunity to take advantage of the GAISF network. GAISF made the decision to introduce Observer Status in 2017 to provide international sports federations with a stepping-stone on the path to fulfilling all of the criteria required for GAISF membership. GAISF assists federations that have achieved Observer Status in attaining the remaining required membership criteria, such as becoming a signatory of the World Anti-Doping Agency Code, growing their members around the world, and receiving the required recognitions by National Olympic Committees or by a nation’s highest sports authority.