New governance for World Sailing (ISAF)

Believe it when we see it

Monday May 9th 2016, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom

World Sailing has laid out a draft two-year roadmap for continued good governance based upon a consultation with member national associations and stakeholders at its Mid-Year Meetings in Lausanne, Switzerland.

World Sailing members approved this weekend a number of changes to its constitution and regulations, which mark the start of the implementation of the modernisation plan.
World Sailing's Constitution concerning non-discrimination is now in line with the Olympic Charter. World Sailing will promote the sport of sailing in all of its branches regardless of colour, gender, physical ability, sexual orientation, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth of other status:

- The Executive Committee will now be referred to as the Board of Directors of the Federation;
- The Secretariat will now be called the Executive Office;
- The Chairman of the Athletes' Commission is now a permanent voting member of the Board of Directors;
- Future venues of the Annual Conference and Annual General Meeting will be determined via a bidding process and vote by members at the AGM;
- Strengthened procedures for identifying and managing conflicts of interest.

The governance of International Federation's (IFs) has recently received widespread media coverage and as a result, remains in the public eye. Following an Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) governance review, a Governance Task Force (GTF) was established in November 2015. The GTF recommended five key governance principles to each IF in February 2016 to be embraced in their activities, decisions, processes and regulations.

These key principles are:
Sports Development & Solidarity
Control Mechanisms

These are further broken down under 50 simple and measurable indicators which can be applied as appropriate to the particular circumstances of each IF taking account of the size, development and history of each. 

World Sailing's two-year road map will focus on meeting ASOIF's standards and will be broken down into three stages. In consultation with the Constitution Committee and Board of Directors, straightforward changes to the Constitution and Regulations will be proposed at the 2016 Annual Conference in Barcelona, Spain.

Further consultation with World Sailing's Members will follow, resulting in a detailed study. Based on the study moderate changes will be proposed at the 2017 Annual Conference before the wider, complex, submissions in 2018.

Addressing World Sailing's Council in Lausanne, Carlo Croce said, "I can't remember a time when the international media and public spotlight has been so concentrated on world sport and the way it is run and governed. At the same time, the IOC and the Association of Summer Olympic International Federations are both clear that change and progress are needed in this area. And they are right.

"Our goal is to become a benchmark for International Federations. These measures will enable World Sailing to become more professional, efficient, effective and better able to drive the global growth of Sailing in all its forms.

"As I look ahead I am encouraged and optimistic as we aim to protect and grow our sport and enter a new era with confidence and a willingness to be creative and develop.”

World Sailing's Chief Executive Officer, Andy Hunt, added, "World Sailing has a real opportunity to be a leading and progressive International Federation and as a consequence become more professional, efficient and effective in its approach.

"World Sailing already meets many of ASOIF's key principles but the two-year road map will ensure we continue to meet and exceed the governance standards to become best in class.”

Also at this meeting World Sailing President Carlo Croce confirmed that he intends to seek re-election in November for a second and final term as President. Speaking in Lausanne to update the WS Council on progress achieved in his first term, he said that Better Governance, Olympic and Paralympic Development and the Sailing World Cup would be his core priorities if granted the honour of serving a further term as WS President.   

Carlo Croce said: “It has been an enormous honour to serve as World Sailing President and as a sport we have achieved a great deal over the last four years. I am particularly proud of our significantly enhanced Emerging Nations Programme, the moves to improve governance, the appointment of a top class CEO in Andy Hunt and the development of a new Sailing World Cup strategy. There is real momentum across the organization. 

"Of course we face new challenges and opportunities and I do have a sense of ‘unfinished business’. I want to ensure that the challenges that lie ahead are sailed safely and that the many significant opportunities to grow our sport, at every level, are secured.  

“I want to see through a period of real reform in World Sailing's governance. We need to modernise and become much more efficient and effective as a Federation. Change is underway and I can help deliver that change over the next four years.  Part of my job as World Sailing President going forward would be to ensure that we not just meet new governance standards, but exceed them, and become a benchmark for other International Federations.

“In the sport of Sailing, we need also to be responsive to the IOC’s Agenda 2020.  We are in a changing Olympic world and working together, and in full consultation with the Sailing Family, we must be creative, look at our events on the Programme and embrace innovation. No sport should stand still. Also on Para Sailing, for me returning the sport to the 2024 Paralympic Games is a key priority."

Croce also outlined his ambitions for the Sailing World Cup and Offshore Sailing: “A new Sailing World Cup has real potential to boost our sport's global profile, increase participation and bring new fans to Sailing.  This should be done in partnership with sponsors and broadcasters and we must be open to the ideas of new host cities.   We also need to take a look at other opportunities including Offshore Sailing, which is an important area of our sport and one of real untapped potential. If we do this correctly, and build the right consensus, it would be a benefit to the whole of Sailing in the years ahead."

Croce added: "As I look ahead I am encouraged and optimistic as we enter a new era with confidence and a willingness to be creative.  It is this vision of growth, modernisation and innovation, while respecting our sport's great traditions, that I believe I can deliver if I am honoured to serve as World Sailing President for a second and final term.”

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