Observer Status continues for Pole & Aerial Sports!

LONDON 5th November 2019 – The International Pole Sports Federation (IPSF) announces its Observer status, awarded in 2017 by the Global Association of International Sports Federations (GAISF) has been extended for a further two years.


The International Pole Sports Federation is delighted to announce that it’s GAISF Observer Status has been renewed for a further two years! SEE GAISF WEBSITE HERE


Observer Status allows new, young International Federations to take advantage of the GAISF network to grow and develop, and has been designed as the first step in a clear path towards full GAISF membership. Introduced following the 2017 GAISF General Assembly in Aarhus, Observers are supported by GAISF in their development towards fulfilment of all criteria required for full membership, such as increasing the number of national federations around the world and receiving the required recognition by National Olympic Committees or by national sports authorities.


Katie Coates, President of the IPSF added:

“This is fantastic news for our sport and its athletes! It coincides with the 10-year celebration of the creation of Pole as a sporting discipline by the IPSF and the huge success of our World Championships this month in Canada. Our team and its community have worked tirelessly in the pursuit of legitimacy and development of Pole Sports. The renewal of the GAISF Observer Status means that the IPSF has taken positive steps towards official recognition and the GAISF Observer Status will give our sport the opportunity to develop and evolve further, taking us even closer to full GAISF membership and inclusion into the worlds sporting arena. In just ten years we have quadrupled the number of athletes and national federations and ignited a global following inspiring a new generation of sportsmen, -women and children. I am thankful to the IPSF, its federations, athletes and of course the continued support of the GAISF team. It is and exciting time for the future of our sport.”


GAISF President Raffaele Chiulli said:

“Observer status was introduced so that new and growing International Federations could learn from the best practices of the established organisations within the GAISF Family. Last year we saw our first International Federation progress from observer to full Member, and I am confident that, with the guidelines and support in place, the IPSF can continue to develop for the benefit of its members and stakeholders.”  


The IPSF has seen huge growth over the past 10 years. In 2012, 39 elite male and female athlete from 14 countries attended the championships. By the 2019 championships, this number increased by 83% to 300+ male, female, youth and Para Pole athletes from 39 countries.


Development of the sport over the years: 

  • 2009 - Formation of the IPSF
    • No male or youth athletes competing.
  • 2012 - First World Championships
    • 5 competing male athletes and no youth athletes
    • 36 athletes from 14 countries compete in total
    • No livestream
  • 2013 – Introduction of a youth programme
    • 9 competing male athletes and 7 youth athletes from the age of 10
    • 46 athletes from 18 countries
  • 2014 – First contact with SportAccord (now GAISF) -
  • 2014 – Anti-Doping programme introduced –
    • 14 competing male athletes and 9 youth athletes from the age of 10
    • 96 athletes from 24 countries
  • 2015 – First application to SportAccord (now GAISF)
    • 20 men compete and 24 youth athletes from the age of 10
    • 105 athletes from 24 countries
    • First Livestream 500 Viewers
  • 2016 – Approved as a WADA signatory
  • 2016 – Applied to the IOC for membership
    •  22 men compete and 29 youth athletes from the age of 10
    • 190 athletes from 36 countries
    • 1000 viewers
  • 2017 – Signed a trilateral agreement with the FIG and GAISF to allow the IPSF membership of GAISF
    • 26 men compete and 29 youth athletes from the age of 10
    • 190 athletes from 36 countries
    • 36,000 viewers
  • 2018 – Introduction of Aerial Sports to the IPSF programme –
    • 39 men compete and 56 youth athletes from the age of 10 –
    • 236 athletes from 38 countries
    • 48,000 viewers
  • 2019 – Extension of the GAISF Observer Status for a further two years
    • 42 men compete and 64 youth athletes from the age of 10
    • 361 athletes from 40 countries
    • 109,000 viewers

What does this mean for Pole Sports now?

GAISF and WADA will only approve one federation from each sport and in turn the IPSF only recognises one federation in each country. The IPSF needs to reach 40 Federations and with the help of the IPSF these federation 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 would like offer all existing federation an open 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. Join the largest global network of competitions!


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 just needs 10 more federations

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 the 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 as an existing federation and we will assist you with your national recognition and developing Pole Sports in your country contact us here
  • Create a federation in your country and we will guide you through the process with our dedicated federations and competitions team contact us here
  • Become an IPSF athlete, join your national federation and take part in the 24 competitions we currently have listed HERE as well as benefit from the national recognition process
  • Become an IPSF Certified instructor or coach and help to educate enthusiasts and athletes around the world see HERE
  • Join the IPSF as a volunteer and help grow pole sport at the heart of the movement sign up HERE


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© International Pole Sports Federation 2015