The Shift Begins!

Pole Sports on the BBC – the shift in public perception begins

By Neola Wilby


2016 has been an important year for the IPSF. Behind the scenes, we’ve been working hard on our mission for Olympic recognition. We’re steadily growing the number of Pole Sports Federations around the world. We’ve launched our Athletes’ Commission and our Code of Points and even submitted our application to the Olympic Committee for IOC recognition.


But as our Olympic goal gathers momentum, one of the biggest challenges we still face is something that we must tackle not behind closed curtains, but centre stage, in full beam of the spotlight. That challenge? To change the public perception of Pole Sports.


Putting the spotlight on Pole Sports


Pole has been no stranger to mainstream media over recent years, but that coverage has all too often been accompanied by controversy, the clichéd titters of moral judgment and the usual adult entertainment comparisons.


Finally, we are starting to see signs of change. The tone of media reports about pole is slowly beginning to shift and Pole Sport is now being discussed in mainstream sports media as a legitimate athletic sport.


Just last month, Pole Sports was featured in the Olympic Games blog and last week, IPSF President Katie Coates was interviewed about pole for BBC’s Sportshour.


The episode was broadcast to a sport-enthusiast audience of 3 million people worldwide.

You can listen to the full interview in this BBC’s Sportshour episode by clicking ‘Download MP3’.


Pole Sports is officially making its way out of the gossip columns and onto the sport pages, where it deserves to be. To quote Katie’s BBC interview: finally, we are starting to be featured “for what we actually do, not what people think we do”. We hope this signals the beginning of the shift in public perception that is going to be crucial in the continued growth of our sport.

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