As a result of the many questions and concerns with regard to the legitimacy of the newly formed International Pole Sports and Art Federation (IPSAF), and in response to our own National Federations asking for our official stance on the situation, the IPSF would like to issue the following statement to clear up any confusion:
In January of this year, the President of the Swiss Pole Sports Federation, Sylvia Bignoni, chose to cancel Switzerland’s IPSF Federation Membership without consulting the members of the Swiss Federation. At the same time, Davide Lacagnina left the IPSF. Thereinafter, they set up a new international federation and competition using a very similar name to the International Pole Sports Federation’s (IPSF) and the World Pole Sports Championship (WPSC). Davide Lacagnina has been very vocal against the IPSF since leaving including contacting many judges, federations and endorsed competition organisers offering them to join his federation and become officials of his organisation if they would leave the IPSF.
The IPSF would like to clarify that Davide Lacagnina left the IPSF because he didn’t agree with many of the rules the IPSF has incorporated for the development and progress of pole ‘as a legitimate sport’. We would also like to clarify that Davide was a member of the technical sub-committee along with 15 other members, each with different and individual roles in the annual updates of the Code of Points. Throughout his two year period, Davide worked on the development of minimum requirements for elements and finding videos for training purposes.
Davide Lacagnina continues to be vocal about the position of the IPSF and its Olympic bid, which is confusing for us. Davide’s position at the IPSF did not include being part of the committee organising SportAccord or Olympic recognition. To confirm the IPSF position as to Olympic recognition; the IPSF have already made all the initial steps of application to the International Olympic Committee and are waiting for the IOC to confirm our next point in the timeline process. The IPSF have also been invited to SportAccord on 20th April to discuss the application along with 10 other new sports that are in the same process of application. The main discussion point for the IPSF will be gaining 40 federations, each with government recognition, and how SportAccord will be assisting new federations to achieve this; the most recent correspondence the IPSF has received on this matter states the IPSF “is close" to recognition.
To clear up any misinformation given in unofficial public statements regarding the IPSF, Pole Sports has as much chance as any sport to become an Olympic sport, however it is a long process that requires the dedication of the Pole Sports community alongside the IPSF. The IPSF’s short term goals have always been to grow and assist Pole Sports to reach its full potential, along with becoming a member of SportAccord and the IOC with Pole being recognised as an official sport. This is now closer than ever. Once this goal has been achieved, the IPSF will continue working on the long term goal of inclusion into the Olympic Games. No other pole federation can become a recognised sporting federation in place of the IPSF; another pole federation would have to make a completely new application in their own right with the correct criteria; other sporting federations cannot replace IPSF’s application simply because they are in the same sporting industry.
IMPORTANT WPSC QUALIFICATION NEWS FOR SWISS ATHLETES
Over the last three months, many Swiss athletes have been communicating with the IPSF to express their concern and disappointment at the turn of events with the decision made by Silvia Bignoni for the Swiss Federation to leave IPSF and join IPSAF; concerns arose further with the announcement that Silvia was to be vice-president for IPSAF. Communications increased this week after an announcement that the competitions planned to be held in three weeks’ time were abruptly cancelled; with no regard to the expenditure and hard work of the Swiss athletes, and to the utter dismay of many Swiss athletes.
We understand that a new committee has stepped in to try to salvage the frustrating and confusing situation in Switzerland and we look forward to a democratic vote by their members. The IPSF offers its full support to the new federation and to all Swiss pole athletes and enthusiasts and wishes the best for the future of pole in their country.
In response to the disappointment and frustration felt by Swiss athletes in the midst of the recent events, the IPSF have taken emergency measures to offer assistance in qualification to the World Pole Sports Championships. The executive committee elected to offer Swiss athletes the same opportunity as the USA athletes with a similar federation crisis. Swiss elite athletes may now officially apply to the IPSF to be included in a select video submission to compete for IPSF World Pole Sports Championships qualification. Athletes may find the WPSC Qualification Application here. The IPSF recognises the commitment, sacrifice, and expense of all athletes in preparing for competition, and it is our goal that the Swiss athletes are afforded the same opportunity as all other federation athletes to participate in the World Pole Sports Championships.