IPSF VIRTUAL WORLD POLE AND AERIAL CHAMPIONSHIPS 2021
As the IPSF, we are continuously and diligently following the reach of the pandemic around the world, and in our member countries. Given that we suspended our 2020
season, we are quite intent on continuing with hosting a competition season in 2021. To this end, we have consulted with various stakeholders and have offered our national competitions the
opportunity of hosting online competitions as opposed to live competitions. While some of our member competitions will host live events, this is done under very strict health and safety
The IPSF has had continued consultations with our Federation members, Executive and General committee, Head Judges and Athletes, and has taken the decision to
continue with the World Championships for 2021, but in a virtual format. The reasons are numerous, and include but are not limited to:
- The safety of our judges, athletes, committee members, volunteers, and supporters. This is paramount to the IPSF, and we are not convinced that we would be able to
host a live event while guaranteeing the safety of all participants.
- There is also still a lot of uncertainty around additional mutation of the virus, slow roll out of vaccination schedules and travel restrictions and border
closures. With this in mind, we cannot absolutely guarantee freedom of movement come October, which means that we would potentially have participants having to drop out last minute.
- Fairness – given that some countries are still under severe lockdowns, and others have strict travel restrictions, there would be a number of athletes who would
not have the opportunity to compete even if they qualify. We do not believe that this is fair, as this is not something that they (or us) can control. By offering a Virtual competition, we believe
that we can extend our reach to athletes who would otherwise not have had the opportunity to compete this year.
- In order for us to begin to feel comfortable to host a live World event, we would need to have a rigorous testing and quarantining programme. We would thus need to
provide testing for our athletes, as well as hotel accommodation for 2 weeks for them to quarantine. We as a federation cannot afford this, and we know our athletes also cannot afford this.
Additionally, we know that the vast majority of our athletes have careers and families, and would not be able to spend 2 weeks prior to a competition quarantined in a hotel room, and then follow that
up with quarantining back home after the competition (as is the requirement in most countries).
- We have also made the decision to announce our virtual competition this early in the year, as organising the World Championships takes an inordinate amount of
time, and by making this decision now, we can focus all our energy into producing an incredible virtual event.
We believe that offering a World Championship competition in 2021 as a virtual event is absolutely critical for a number of reasons:
- First and foremost, we are giving our athletes a competition to work towards. In the past year, there have been few things to look forward to, and we truly believe
that having a competition gives us all something to look forward to.
- We also believe that hosting this competition virtually gives so many more athletes access to our competition – it allows athletes who may not usually be able to
travel for financial reason the opportunity to compete. It allows athletes who could not travel due to the pandemic the opportunity to compete. It gives supporters from around the world the
opportunity to be with their athletes during the virtual event.
- We believe that in order for a competition to truly be called a World Championship, we need to allow for as much global representation as possible. We do not want
to limit our competition to a tiny segment of athletes who could travel – we want to make sure that this competition truly is global.
- We also believe that hosting this competition online reduces the risk to all participants, and allows us to host an event without asking people to make a difficult
decision about their health and the risk their willing to take with it.
We are committed to hosting an absolutely fantastic virtual competition in 2021, and hope that all our athletes, judges and supporters will join us in making this
event unforgettable. We look forward to 2022 in Switzerland and thank the swiss federation for their continued help with this year’s competition. A special thank you also goes out to our sponsors who
continue to support us in this difficult time, SunPole, Dragonfly and Flex monkey