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IBSA Goalball comes together

Date: June 8, 2013

Category: Goalball

Over the weekend of 1-2 June, the IBSA Goalball Sub-committee came together for our annual face to face meeting. This was very exciting for many of us because all members of the committee were present and it gave some of us the chance to meet others for the first time. Some of us have only joined the committee over the past year and therefore haven’t had the opportunity to meet the other members.
The ancient city of Rome was the beautiful setting for this meeting but little to no sightseeing happened because the only item on our agenda was Goalball.
Items on the agenda included a review of what we have all done over the past year and discussions around Rio 2016 and upcoming regional championships. The 2014-2017 IBSA Goalball rules and regulations was also an item that received a lot of attention.
Each committee member was expected to create a report for the rest of the members outlining their achievements and areas that require more work. A lot has been achieved over the past year but many things are still in an initial stage and need to be developed further.
For the upcoming major tournaments, we heard where the planning currently is for these tournaments and what still needs to be done in the short term.
Rules and regulations was an item that took up a large proportion of our time as we went through the draft rule book point by point. The final draft shall appear online prior to the IBSA General Assembly.
The meeting concluded with a review of our goals from the past year which included:

  • Improve communication
  • Update the referees program
  • Changes to the rules and regulations

The goals for the upcoming year were also defined. Some of these goals are as follows:

  • Develop youth Goalball and more opportunities for youth tournaments
  • Further promote Goalball in Africa and developing Goalball nations
  • Create a testing program to further encourage the development of more high quality goalballs and Goalball manufacturers as well as encourage the development of a youth ball.
  • Strengthen communication between  sport regions to foster increased growth and cooperation
  • Nominate Rio 2016 qualification hosts by December 2013

To break the meeting up, we also received presentations from Neil O’Donovan, Executive Director of IBSA on issues such as classification and his role within IBSA. All of us have had e-mail contact with Neil but nearly none of us have had the chance to meet him.
Neil remained for the whole meeting and it was beneficial for us to have his insight throughout the meeting.
However, we weren’t the only ones that benefited from Neil’s presence. Neil himself also got something out of it:
"It is always an enlightening experience to witness an IBSA subcommittee at work. These annual meetings can act as a thermometer to indicate the health of a sport. Based on my observations, IBSA Goalball is in good condition; however, I did not detect any complacency amongst the members of Kari's team – ambitious goals have been set, and there appears to be a determination to achieve them. It is very clear that IBSA Goalball now has a fully-functioning committee, comprised of experienced and dedicated individuals representing the worldwide Goalball community. It is encouraging for me to be able to report back to the executive board that IBSA Goalball is being managed effectively, in a democratic and transparent manner, as never before. Neil O'Donovan, Executive Director, IBSA"
The final word though went to our Chairman, Kari Marklund, who summed up the weekend with these words:
“It is always thrilling to meet dedicated people and together with them discuss the development of a sport. The hard work of the international team that makes up the IBSA Goalball Subcommittee resulted in a proposal for the new rules and regulations 2014-2017. The document will be presented at the IBSA General Assembly in Copenhagen for approval. After the evaluation of our previous goals the new goals were set. Now the process for achieving the goals begins.”
All in all it was a very positive weekend and many of us are now feeling very motivated to work hard during the upcoming year.
Finally, we would like to thank the Grand Hotel Tiberio who looked after us fantastically and kept us incredibly well fed.
If you have any questions regarding what you have read or would like to make any comments, please feel free to contact our Secretary, John Potts.  

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