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SportAccord Convention opens in Bangkok with a look to a steadier future

The Conference programme of the 2018 SportAccord Convention in Bangkok. (Photo: Getty Images)
by Sonja Nikcevic, AIPS Media

BANGKOK, April 16, 2018 – Bid as “the most productive meeting place for stakeholders in world sport” by its president, Patrick Baumann, the 2018 SportAccord Convention opened in Bangkok on Sunday, keen to expand its rebranded image of a platform for cooperation in sports leadership.

The five-day summit in the Thai capital brings together decision-makers in sport, representatives of international federations, Olympic and non-Olympic sports, and future bid cities under the umbrella of GAISF – the ‘General Association of International Sports Federations’.

A new GAISF It is the first to mark a new chapter in recent history after last year’s change of logo, name and image at the Convention in Aarhus, that saw SportAccord, the umbrella body of international sport federations revert to its previous acronym GAISF, which in its founding in 1967 stood for the General Assembly of International Sport Federations, before being altered to the General Association of International Sport Federations.

The rebranding to the name SportAccord was led by then president Hein Verbruggen. Now, nine years later, SportAccord has gone back to its original roots, where it is looking to unify the world of sports leadership through its original name GAISF and distance itself from the recent turbulence of the leadership of Marius Vizer, and to mark an end to the confusion between SportAccord and its prime product the Sport Accord Convention.

Reconciliation Through the change, the SportAccord convention and GAISF are also looking to re-strengthen the relationship with the International Olympic Committee, which rocked to the core following former president Marius Vizer’s attack on IOC president Thomas Back at the now infamous 2015 SportAccord Convention in Sochi. At the time, as federations big and small backed away from SportAccord in fear of having their Olympic status - and IOC monetary support – affected, it looked as if the association, and its convention might cease to exist altogether.

Thailand in sport - Sport Festival Bangkok 2018 Three years on, a new future is being rebuilt, and the 2018 convention in Bangkok will also welcome IOC President Thomas Bach set to put his stamp of approval on the changes and growing relations, as he opens the Convention, and the Sport Festival Bangkok 2018, which is under the patronage of the IOC, and which promotes sport as a tool for cultural understanding, to encourage grassroots sport in the country, establish closer relationships between the Thai national federations and their international federations, promote and establish sports which do not yet have national federations in Thailand.

IOC President Thomas Bach arrives at the Centara Grand & Bangkok Convention Centre for the SportAccord Convention where he is set to be a key guest and opening speaker. (Photo: Getty Images)

Exhibition days The SportAccord Convention in Bangkok, hosted by Sports Authority of Thailand at the Bangkok Convention Center will include the traditional two-day conference, as well as a three-day exhibition for industries, sports organizations, governments offices, cities and events services to promote their products amongst eachother and sports stakeholders. The general Assemblies and council meetings of GAISF, of ASOIF – the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations, AWOIF – it’s Winter sport counterpart, ARISF – the Association of IOC-recognized sports that are non on the Olympic Programme, and AIMS – the Association of sports looking to reach Olympic recognition.

AIPS membership AIPS is taking part in the SportAccord convention and the GAISF assembly on Friday April 20 as a newly-returned associate member of GAISF after eight years, representing the voice of sports journalists worldwide.

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