Monday, October 11, 2010

The work ahead for FISav - New president - Julie Gabriel

No more "macho" business.

Written by Julie Gabriel (traduction: J-M Rousseau, Agnes Aubert)
On the 26th September 2010, I had the great honour of being elected as the first female President of the International Savate Federation. In recent years, I have worked closely with FISav staff and officers and have been able to observe the issues faced by the federation, the areas of work, the successes, and what works well and what does not.
The main challenges for FISav in the coming years fall into four categories:
Finance and budget, Management and organization, Consolidation of our position and Progression

I believe it is necessary to have a period of consolidation for FISav itself, including updating our statutes and operating procedures, strengthening our member federations and our links with them, and making our organisation more transparent and accountable to its members.

Finance and budget

Our recent achievements - recognition by WADA/AMA, FISU and Sportaccord - bring with them increased expenditure. I propose a review of expenditure to identify efficiency savings and forecast expenditure for future years. Along with this, we need to increase our income, for example, by showing sponsors and partners (public and private) the benefits they can gain from working with us.

We should also acknowledge the differing levels of financial support in our member countries, and look for positive ways to support those countries with the biggest need. National federations with a stable financial position should be identified as potential hosts for future championships, and be given a sufficient amount of time and support to gain sponsors. We must also make improvements in the collection of affiliation fees and give national federations clear benefits for paying on time.

Management and organization

Currently the work load for FISav officers is very high. As an organisation, we need to strive for efficiency and provide an appropriate level of support through paid staff. We also need clarity in senior roles; the areas of responsibility for FISav officers and Commissions must be more accurately defined and published for all to see. This will also help with transparency of the organisation and representation.

The method of operation of the continental confederations, their duties and rights should also be clear to all, and be discussed and approved by the FISav General Assembly. National federations should be able to identify a route to having their views heard and considered by the continental confederations and by FISav.

Consolidation of our position

FISav must consolidate the number of active federations and help them to become stronger, as well as develop ways of supporting new federations. Statutes, procedures, resources and training materials should be available in several languages. We have, within our membership, individuals who are willing to help with this; however, there are also documents which require professional translation.

Our Championships are judged on the quality of the athletes, but also on the quality of the judge-referees. We need to improve the training of the judge-referees, provide them with feedback on their performance, and develop a FISav passport to record their activities. Their responsibilities are great: being protective of the health of the athletes, the respect of the rules and ethics of Savate, and being just in their decisions.


Many of our members will know that Savate was a demonstration sport in the 2010 Sportaccord Combat Games in Beijing. I worked on this successful project with Gilles Le Duigou and Jean-Marie Rousseau, and was delighted to hear of the welcome and encouragement given to our delegation by the President of Sportaccord, Mr Hein Verbruggen. Our aim is for Savate to be a full participant in the next Combat Games in 2013.

Looking ahead, we should not neglect opportunities to showcase our sports and increase participation, whether this be in the Mediterranean Games, the Masters Games, the Paralympic Games... Many of our national federations are in Commonwealth countries; their members would value the opportunity to take part in the Commonwealth Games.

All of our work should benefit any future application to be accepted as an Olympic Sport. We should embed the Olympic ideals and ethics in all that we do. We should be a model for excellence, respect and friendship, encouraging fair-play, just decisions, and participation at all levels from the newest beginner to the elite athlete, from the trainee judge to the most senior Delegate Official, and from the club volunteer to the international management.

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