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LONDON, October 2017

LONDON, October 2017 – The International Pole Sports Federation (IPSF) announced as one of the first International Federations to be awarded the Global Association of International Sports Federations’ (GAISF) Observer Status.

The International Pole Sports Federation is delighted to announce that it has been awarded GAISF (SportAccord) Observer Status after the decision to introduce Observer Status for aspirant members was unanimously accepted by delegates at the GAISF General Assembly in Aarhus, Denmark, earlier this year.

The Observer Status allows new, young International Federations to take advantage of the GAISF network to develop growth and has been designed as the first step in a clear path towards full GAISF membership. Observers will be accompanied by GAISF in their development towards fulfillment of all criteria required for membership, such as increasing the number of members in various countries and receiving the required recognitions by National Olympic Committees or by national sports authorities.

Patrick Baumann, President of GAISF said:

“We warmly welcome our first Observers. This is an exciting time for them and for us and we will do everything within our remit to help them realize their full potential as International Federations within the global sport’s family and one day, maybe become part of the Olympic program. The new sports debuting at Tokyo 2020 and at the Buenos Aires Youth Olympics are evidence that the pathway is there.”

Katie Coates, President of the IPSF added:

“This is a historical day for Pole Sports, our athletes and our community. The IPSF is very proud to have taken this positive step towards official recognition and the GAISF Observer Status will give our sport the opportunity to develop further on the national and international stages, taking us even closer to full GAISF membership. In just eight years we have created a sport, ignited a global following, and inspired a new generation of sportsmen, women, and children. I am thankful to the IPSF and GAISF teams and excited about the future of our sport.”

GAISF currently has approximately 100 pending requests for membership, with around 15 of them officially requesting Observer Status. The Membership Commission evaluated the 15 submissions and selected the seven federations with the most advanced applications, one of which was the International Pole Sports Federations. Other federations who have been awarded Observer Status are the World Arm Wrestling Federation (WAF), World Dodgeball Association (WDA), Federation for International Foot Golf (FIFG), International Union of Kettlebell Lifting (IUKL), International Federation of (Match)Poker (IFP), International Table Soccer Federation (ITSF).

The IPSF has seen a huge growth over the past 6 years. In 2012, 39 elite male and female athletes from 14 countries attended the championships. By the 2017 championships, this number increased by 83% to 229 male, female, youth and Para Pole athletes from 36 countries.

Development of the sport over the years:

2009 – Formation of the IPSF

2012 – First World Championships

2013 – Introduction of a youth program

2014 – First contact with SportAccord (now GAISF)

2014 – Anti-Doping program introduced

2015 – First application to SportAccord (now GAISF)

2016 – Approved as a WADA signatory

2016 – Applied to the IOC for membership

2017 – Signed a trilateral agreement with the FIG and GAISF to allow the IPSF membership of GAISF

What does this mean for Pole Sports now?

The IPSF needs to reach 40 Federations and with the help of the IPSF these federations can now show that they are part of an international federation that is working officially with GAISF which will assist with national government recognition. This will help them gain funding, assist their athletes and grow Pole Sports in their country. The IPSF will be contacting all existing federations with the invitation to apply as well as inviting groups of passionate people to create federations in countries where they are needed, all with the guidance of the IPSF.

What does this mean for our Olympic goals?

Becoming an Olympic sport requires the following main criteria:

To be a WADA signatory - The IPSF has this

To be a member of GAISF - The IPSF is firmly in the process

To have 50 federations as a summer sport - The IPSF is working towards this

The question we are always asked is,” Will Pole Sports become an Olympic Sport?” All the IPSF can guarantee is that we will work towards meeting the criteria and our long-term goals.

How can you be a part of one of the fastest growing sports on the planet?

You can:

  • Join us at American Pole League to assist with our national recognition and development of Pole Sports in the USA

  • Create a federation in your country

  • Become an IPSF athlete, join your national federation, and take part in the 20 competitions

  • Become an IPSF Certified instructor, coach, or judge and help to educate enthusiasts and athletes around the world

  • Join the APL and IPSF as a volunteer and help grow pole sport at the heart of the movement

Official source:

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