We have now reached the end of the final year of our Vision 2012 project, and I believe that we have been very successful with this WDSF project which was commenced only 5 years ago.
More than this, we were able to finalize Associate Membership agreements at the beginning of the year. As a result, we will soon be able to evaluate if the project has been well accepted by all our Associate Members so that we can continue on with the next stage of our project.
During our next Presidium meeting in January 2013, we will decide with our Associate Members, if we can move forward, or, if some have difficulties with the implementation of the 2012 project. Irrespective of the challenges, we believe that it has been positive for everybody, particularly considering the new and different Games we are now organizing, and, the positive future for all of these federations inside WDSF.
At this time, we are still not able to find a solution for IDO. In this regard, we are unable to finalise an Associate Membership agreement with them. However, we did negotiate a partial agreement with IDO on Salsa and Hip Hop, for the World Games 2013 and the WDSF World DanceSport Games 2013, but only for the countries where they are represented by WDSF member bodies.
Some of our members have problems with athletes and/or adjudicators. We remind everybody that the old Code of Conduct is still valid, as agreed. Therefore, our members have the authority to proceed in their countries in agreement with the existing Code, which is still in force.
We have been asked if we will bring a new motion to change the Code to the next AGM, but as I have mentioned in a separate letter some weeks ago, we will not bring a motion on this matter.
A few of our members believe that after Berlin, many things have changed, but the reality is that this way of thinking is wrong. We are continuing with the next stage of Vision 2012 project, and are working very hard in order to be able to have everything finalized before the end of the next election period. But of course this can only be done with the help of our members who want to see WDSF grow into a very strong Olympic Sports federation worldwide.
During the last 5 years, we started and have partially finalized many of the items mentioned in the separate letter attached to this report. As you will see, some items still need time to be finalized, and, we have to continue working very hard to have them completely in force in coming years.
For example, although the Athlete’s ID Cards commence on the 1st January, 2013, the system will not be completely operational and in force until the end of March, because we are still receiving the requested information from our members.
The Academy will now finally start working hard from 2013, but it will still take two years until we can say that the process is becoming a success for the training of Judges, Trainers and Chairpersons.
A number of different Games start next year. We will have our WDSF World DanceSport Games, which we need to work to make them extremely successful. Next will be the World Master Games in 2014, which we would like to see a very high participation rate from DanceSport. Also in 2014 we expect the World Artistic Games, where we are the principal promoters, and that will include at least 8 International Sports federations, some of them Olympic.
Of course we must not forget our high profile involvement in the next World Games in Cali, Columbia as well as a range of very important regional Games under the auspices of the Olympic Council of Asia.
I can confirm that new logos for the different divisions and Games have been finalized and are being used.
We are also delighted to confirm that for the first time, Eurosport is interested in televising DanceSport. As a result, we expect to be able to secure some important sponsors. The first important sponsors are willing to work with us in 2013 will be in Asia.
We hope to receive approval for live transmission of our Grand Slam events in 2013. In addition, agreements are now in place for the next five years for all Grand Slam events and the Grand Slam Finals.
We are also working very hard to be able to finalize our new WDSF Technique books to members next year. It should also be remembered that a new Rule book was accepted during the last AGM. Of course, all these books will always be modified and improved over time. They are continuing works in progress which will always require updating.
I am attaching to this letter a list of what has been achieved until now and what still has to be finalized in coming years.
The biggest and most important step forward for our federation, as agreed by the IOC, is the new and inclusive WORLD DANCESPORT FEDERATION. As mentioned in previous documents and reports, I must also highlight the importance of our new Judging system, which is based on the IOC accepted skating system.
We believe that the expanding WDSF as the peak body for a range of additional DanceSport disciplines. and the new Judging system, will bring us closer to one our main objectives, consideration for inclusion on the Short list and the Olympic Games.
I also ask you to remember the importance that your lineage to WDSF as the IOC Recognised peak Sports federation for DanceSport brings with it. As you know, there are enormous opportunities for Government recognition and funding for WDSF member bodies. Please carefully guard the privileges that you receive and make sure that your National Sports federation is not directly or indirectly controlled by persons or bodies that have no interest in sport .
As you can see, we are working very hard for DanceSport and we are prepared to travel around the world to meet Government representatives, NOC members, Sport Ministries, etc, in order to promote DanceSport and create the best possible public relations for WDSF. We are convinced that this is the way forward for the future in order to maintain our important prestige and development as an IOC Recognized Sports federation.
In 2012, one important internal step for WDSF has been the change of member for Russia. I hope that since the AGM some of you have had the opportunity to go to Russia. If you have, you will have realized the big changes that have occurred. These changes have meant that we are now accepted as Sport by all entities and receive the highest support we could ever have imagined.
I am also proud to confirm that our new WDSF website with live streaming every weekend is very highly appreciated by DanceSport enthusiasts worldwide. Until now, our WDSF YouTube and website have had the following viewers:
WDSF YouTube channel video views: 14 million WDSF Website: 3 million unique visitors
And only a few Sports Federations can boast such high numbers.
Over the last few years, many changes have been made which we all probably accept as very normal. However, let me just remind you of some of these changes:
The Professional Division is now starting to work in a very important and successful way. They now license many events practically every weekend, with the inclusion of World Championships and Grand Prix with significant prize money. The PD now have a very highly qualified professional team, taking care of this Division.
Of course, as always, WADA compliance is a must inside the WDSF.
Our relationship to the Sports Commission of the IOC and many members of the IOC is excellent, and, we can be proud that our federation is very well appreciated.
I am pleased to report that the WDSF Athlete’s Commission has finally started working properly in 2012 with represention by athletes from all Continents. This Commission will continue to improve communication between the Presidium and the athletes.
As you would realize from our website, we are tremendously increasing our presence in Latin America and more and more athletes from that Continent are taking part in international events. The reality is that during the next World Games in Cali, practically all our members from Latin America will be represented.
Despite all our work and all our successes over the years, we still have to finalize many of the items we have started. We have to continue our work in order that we can be ready to work for inclusion for the next IOC short list. We are convinced that if we all work very hard, we have a good chance to be there, if this is still our wish and desire.
But to achieve this, we still need a very strong working team for the next 4 years. The team must be unified and have the overwhelming support of our members.
We have to finalize the next stage of our Vision 2012 project which will require all Associate Members to become part of WDSF as divisions.
This also means that our national members worldwide have to follow the Vision 2012 project and incorporate National Associate members inside their WDSF federations, with the correspondent representation in the Presidium of each country.
But first in the next two years we will have some very important work to do with:
As I have always stated, we not only have to say that we are a sport, we also have to look like a sport, and in some matters, we are still behind.
We have to continue working in a very positive way to achieve all our goals and slowly but surely, we will be able to achieve them.
You all know that at this moment, DanceSport is one of the most popular sports on TV, on viewers on the YouTube transmissions, and in general and this has to make all of us very proud.
Let me wish here to all of you a very happy New Year and that all our wishes can come true in 2013.
All the best.