From the President
I would like to extend spring greetings to all our members in every part of the world. It is a time when we are beginning to dust ourselves off following a long winter hibernation – at least, that is the case for me, living in one of the colder regions of the globe!
Well, in IBSA, we have certainly hit the ground running in 2014. It’s been a very busy and productive start to the year. In March I led a delegation, comprised of the IBSA Management Committee, to Sochi for the Paralympic Winter Games 2014. We all thoroughly enjoyed the “Sochi experience” , from the spectacular opening ceremony to the breath-taking displays by the athletes on snow and ice. Whilst we were in Sochi we held a strategic planning review meeting to decide what IBSA’s key strategic goals should be for the next four years. It was a very useful session indeed – more will be revealed on this topic in due course.
It is always a pleasure to meet up with Sir Philip Craven and his colleagues from the IPC Governing Board; we also had the opportunity to meet Xavier Gonzalez (CEO) and Peter Van de Vliet (Medical & Scientific Director) of IPC, in a more formal setting, for a useful sharing of information and ideas.
Of even greater significance, is the fact that IBSA is in the process of transferring its legal domicile to Bonn, Germany. We have also revised the IBSA constitution to ensure it complies with German law. The transfer of domicile should be completed before the end of May 2014. There are no changes to email, website or telephone numbers – the only difference is that the IBSA formal registered address will be in Bonn, Germany.
I would also like to acknowledge the support of the ONCE corporation in Spain. Over many years, ONCE has always been very generous to IBSA and we are extremely appreciative.
In the meantime, I really look forward to meeting you at some of the many exciting IBSA competitions over the coming months.
IBSA Judo at the European Olympic Games
Baku 2015 - the first-ever Olympic style regional games in Europe - is due to take place in Azerbaijan next year. The games will kick off on June 12th and conclude on June 28th 2015.
IBSA is proud to announce that Judo for blind and visually impaired athletes has been added to the Baku 2015 programme. According to IBSA President Jannie Hammershoi: “This is wonderful news for Paralympic sport, and especially for blind sport. It follows a joint-approach involving IPC, EPC and IBSA. We are particularly grateful to Patrick Hickey (EOC President) for his strong support for the initiative, and to The First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva, Chair of BEGOC, the Baku 2015 Organising Committee.”
“As Judo is the only Paralympic sport represented at the Games, we in IBSA must play our part in delivering a quality tournament in Baku; we have a duty to ensure that the event exceeds expectations and acts as a means of showcasing Judo for blind athletes and for raising awareness of Paralympic sport across Europe”, Ms Hammershoi concluded.
Around 6000 athletes representing 49 European countries are expected to compete in the 19 sports on the programme at Baku 2015.
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Americas Committee set their goals
The IBSA Americas committee gathered and determined their goals for the future of the Americas region:
- To double the number of IBSA members from the Americas region by the end of this quadrennial.
- To hold at least one developmental or high performance competition in the region for each of the IBSA member sports in which member nations in our region participate by the end of the next quadrennial. This goal should be carried out in partnership with the Americas Paralympic Committee where possible.
- To double the number of qualified officials, coaches and classifiers from the Caribbean, Central and South America by the end of the quadrennial, with a focus on ensuring that each part of the region is equally represented.
An ambitious set of goals which will hopefully be fully supported by all federations, officials, volunteers and all others involved.
Lots of exciting competitions are ahead in the next three months in Europe covering many of the IBSA sports. Here’s an overview of events in this region:
2nd Bučovice Blind Football Cup, 30 May- 1 June , Brno
Eight teams will take part in this tournament: ICB Bahia (Brazil), Pirsos Thessaloniki (Greece), University of Worcester Blind Football Club (UK), three German teams: MTV Stuttgart, FC St. Pauli von 1910 e. V., Chemnitzer FC, plus both Czech teams: BSC Prague and Avoy MU Brno. Jitka Graclikova says: “As there are just two teams in the Czech Republic and we have just four matches per year, we are sentenced to play abroad to improve. The idea of organizing such an event came up from this reason; we wanted to thank to those who invited us to their tournament or we just met at some tournament and became friends.”
Goalball tournaments will take place in Blankenberge, Belgium on 1 May, and on the 22 May in Izola, Slovenia, while the SALTINIS Club Cup will take place in Vlnius, Lithuanai on the 29th May and on the same date the Malmo Lady and Men’s Intercup will be held in Malmo, Sweden, while on the 5th June another tournament will be held in Suprasi, Poland.
All are competitions before the IBSA Goalball World Championships 2014 from 26th June to 6th July in Espoo. The tournament is one of the biggest disability sport events ever to be held in Finland. There will be 16 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams participating in the World Championships. The Goalball World Championships is held every fourth year. Last time in Sheffield 2010 Lithuania won the men’s tournament and China was number one in the women’s tournament. Finland was not among the participants in men’s tournament and finished fifth in women’s tournament. Since then the Finland men’s team has won IBSA World Games, European Championships and Paralympic Games. Their women’s team is also one of the top teams in the world and finished fourth in London Paralympic Games. There will be a total 102 top quality goalball matches during the six match days (30.6.–5.7.). The matches will be played in two venues in Espoo: Sport Hall Tapiola and Sport Hall Summa.
Tickets for the last two game days (4 -5 July) for the 2014 IBSA Goalball World Championships in Espoo, Finland are now available (free entrance for the round robin matches 30 June- 3 July). The ticket costs 20 euros and covers entry to both game days. Quarterfinals and semifinals are played on Friday 4th of July and medal matches on Saturday 5th of July. Ticket orders: Anu Boman E-mail: email@example.com
15th IBSA European Championships in Ninepin Bowling
Tomaszów Mazowiecki, Poland 8-15 June 2014
The entry forms are now out for the European Championships in Ninepin Bowling
International Judo tournament - Vilnius, Lithuania June 13 – 15, 2014
This annual judo tournament is very well organized by the Lithuanian Blind Sports Federation. In 2014 teams from Belarus, Czech Republic, Latvia Russia Romania and Uzbekistan have already registered.
An international Showdown tournament will take place in Milan from 30 April to 4th May and also the 10th Haninge Open Showdown tournament will attract participants from the 4th to 8th June in Malmo, Sweden.
A lot of events happening this spring on the European continent.
Since 1990 Torball has been an official sport of the IBSA. More than 300 teams are playing Torball in about 16 countries round the world. During each year many Torball competitions for the clubs are carried out, so that one club is able to take part in 10 or more tournaments in the course of one year. Every year some Torball tournaments for young people are organized in Switzerland and Austria. Nearly every sport club for the blind in Central Europe is playing Torball.
17 May - 19th international Torball tournament with 15 youth teams from 6 countries
Switzerland: Zollikofen Contact e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
17th May - "Salzburg Bull" International Torball Tournament for 7 male teams from 4 countries
16 - 18 May - International referee clinic for the international licenced Torball referees. Austria: Salzburg. Information at: email@example.com
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This newsletter will be published every three months and circulated to all members and others who have an interest in blind sports and have registered to receive this. Please feel free to send this newsletter forward to people or organisations who are interested in these subjects. If you have stories to share with the global IBSA family, please sent these to IBSA Secretary General, Henk van Aller (firstname.lastname@example.org
) before September 1st.