World Archery holds joint committee meetings online through November

At least every two years, World Archery’s permanent committees and ad hoc commissions meet – usually at the federation’s headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland – to discuss the future of the sport.

Due to the ongoing worldwide pandemic and buoyed by the ongoing move towards more sustainable operations, these joint committee meetings moved online in 2020. More than 50 conference calls were held during 15-29 November 2020.

The programme started with an introduction from World Archery President Prof Dr Ugur Erdener and progressed into 15 days of meetings of both individual committees and combined sessions that joined one or more committees.

Key topics discussed include safeguarding, gender equity, COVID-19 measures at events, sustainability and the better integration of para archery – including classification – in the rules.

Parts of a new strategy also made the agenda. An initial draft will be discussed at the executive board meeting on 12 December and will culminate in concrete proposals for the next congress in September 2021.

The newly created electoral board also met for the first time, setting the timeline and deadlines for the upcoming congress.

While the pandemic prevented any meetings from being held physically and there were challenges in scheduling the online sessions, given the widespread locations and time zones of delegates, there were also significant benefits to hosting the calls online.

Cross-committee meetings were often shorter but more frequent, creating greater synergies between the different groups and facilitating a more productive discourse, not least between the coaches and athletes.

The use of an online platform also made sharing information and recording the outcomes of discussions easier – and the opportunity was used to have committees better define their roles within the World Archery governance structure.

This framework will now be approved by the electoral board and published ahead of candidatures opening for September’s elections.

World Archery secretary general Tom Dielen said: “The productive discussions held across the last few weeks showcased that the archery’s elected officials, who all give up their time as volunteers, are a real strength.”

“Some of the ideas put forward during the joint committee meetings will now become proposals for concrete changes that will position the sport for a better future as we emerge from this challenging time.”

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