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In the last twelve months, I have written to you on a number of occasions to provide you with current, accurate information about WDSF and England.
In recent times, we were optimistic because some of the distinguished people who had been active in dancing in England for years as coaches, adjudicators and producers had indicated to us a willingness to consider participating in the WDSF sporting system and build DanceSport in England within WDSF and the Olympic family.
We responded by saying in good faith that the WDSF Presidium would not take action against athletes, adjudicators and other officials who in 2011 participated in the Blackpool Festivals, the International Ballroom Championships at the Royal Albert Hall, London, and the UK Open Championships at Bournemouth, England.
We kept our word, and following commitments made by me to the 2010 and 2011 WDSF Annual General Meetings, I continued to contact the various organisers of events in England, and other prominent people in England, in order to find a working solution for the future. As I explained to you last time, the compromise WDSF has consistently proposed was to include WDSF-registered events within these competitions, so that we could encourage all athletes to attend and dance in all competitions.
WDSF continues to discuss and plan the future of DanceSport with the progressive supporters of our sport in England. We have been consulting actively with different organisers of competitions there and expect progress for WDSF in England in the near future. However, I am sorry to say that despite early promise, no constructive responses have been received.
I’m writing to you in order to clarify the situation concerning the participation of athletes, adjudicators and other officials at the Blackpool Festivals in 2012.
Further to my letter to you dated 18 March 2011, the WDSF Presidium has continued its discussions with the organisers of the Blackpool Festivals with a view to agreeing a sporting and regulatory collaboration with WDSF which would allow us to include this event in the WDSF sporting calendar. These discussions are on-going and we remain hopeful that they will ultimately result in an outcome which is beneficial to all parties and DanceSport in general.
In order to give such an outcome the greatest chance of success and considering all the sporting elements surrounding the 2012 edition of the Blackpool Festivals, the WDSF Presidium has decided (as it did in 2011) that it will not take action against athletes, adjudicators and other officials who participate in the 2012 Blackpool Festivals. Athletes, adjudicators and other officials will therefore not be required to seek consent from WDSF in order to compete in the 2012 Blackpool Festivals.
I should like to make clear that this decision is taken purely in respect of the 2012 Blackpool Festivals. It is without prejudice to subsequent editions of this event and does not provide any exception to, or relax the requirements of, the WDSF rules and regulations concerning any other non-registered events, whether in England or elsewhere. In particular, athletes and adjudicators must adhere to the strict terms of the recently revised Codes of Conduct and Standards of Ethics with respect to participation in all other non-registered events.
I again confirm that in the interests of the athletes, WDSF wishes to encourage the organisers of the UK Championships and the International Championships to find a working solution to build their events with WDSF’s full support.
We therefore confirm that we will continue to seek to establish a working relationship with the Blackpool Festivals organisers. However, we urge you to discourage your athletes and officials from participating in these Blackpool Festivals until we are able to find a working solution in the interests of all athletes, officials and DanceSport.
I hope that this letter gives you a clearer picture of WDSF’s current policy and work in England.
Yours truly,Carlos FreitagWDSF President