Joint message from UIPM President and Secretary General: December 2022
The end of a year is a time for reflection, and the start of a new year is about resolution.
As we say goodbye to 2022 and prepare to say hello to 2023, it’s no different to the normal routine but the feelings are stronger, because these are momentous times for our movement.
First let us reflect on 2022. If we didn’t think anything could be more challenging than 2021, we were wrong, but sometimes it takes adversity for humanity to truly thrive. Our athletes certainly thrived in 2022, adapting to the demands of a new competition format in Modern Pentathlon to underline why they are the most versatile athletes in the world.
The shorter elimination system was challenging for athletes, but they adapted really smoothly, and we also received great feedback from TV networks that demonstrated the value of this change.
Across the UIPM Sports pyramid, there was deserved reward for commitment and endeavour. We saw record participation levels in the UIPM Laser Run and Biathle-Triathle World Championships, where athletes of all ages reminded us of the sheer joy of sport in a global context, which was so sadly missed in 2020 and for much of 2021.
Outside of our established sports and disciplines, there were also unforgettable scenes of enjoyment and fun, not to mention athletic prowess, in the four Obstacle Discipline Test Events that brought a new future dimension to Modern Pentathlon.
After the overwhelming support of 83% in favour of this new concept at the 72nd UIPM Congress, which was an open forum for National Federations to express constructive opinions about the implementations and improvements needed, we are just a few months from integrating Obstacle into Modern Pentathlon for the first time in the UIPM Youth and Junior World Championships.
Nobody can deny that this is a seismic change in our sport, with a new discipline added to UIPM Statutes for the first time, but it does maintain a pattern of continuous development based on the 4E programme (Education, Equipment, Empowerment, and Expansion) since 2015, where the results and numbers tell a powerful story about our sports pyramid.
Change creates communication challenges but again, this is not new for our sport. That said, we did see positive signs of continuous engagement with our existing community, while also taking the opportunity provided by the new discipline to reach out to wider audiences.
Communication, Conduction, Coordination, Commitment and Continuity were the key words of 2022, and their successful implementation was dependent on the whole UIPM team’s tireless work and endeavour collaborating together.
Now on to our aims for 2023.
This is a vital year for the careers of many athletes working hard to fulfil their dreams by qualifying for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. The new format designed for Paris has been successfully embedded but Riding is still a focal point and the discipline will continue to be monitored and reviewed and improved throughout the season, to ensure that the world sees the best possible Modern Pentathlon showcase in Versailles in the summer of 2024.
Good governance is our commitment to the community, and it will also be continuously improved after the positive result of UIPM's promotion to the top end of Group B in ASOIF's 4th Review of International Federation Governance in June 2022.
Not only will the new-look Modern Pentathlon with Obstacle be introduced in our Junior, U19, U17 and the brand new U15 World Championships, it will also be a feature of regional and national competitions, and all results will be channeled towards further conduction and improvement so that it can be incorporated smoothly into senior events after 2024.
Following the publication of UIPM’s first Obstacle Discipline Competition Guidelines, a further series of resources will be released in January, February and March to support athletes, coaches, officials and National Federations and facilitate the new discipline’s integration. Additional services will be provided and built to facilitate the participation and the process for NFs and organisers.
Above all, UIPM’s new year resolution and the most important objective of the whole sport in 2023 will be to secure Modern Pentathlon’s place on the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic programme. To achieve that, we must move forward as a community with collective purpose.
Unity, Solidarity, Opportunity, Embracing and Strengthening will be the key words for 2023, and we look forward to working together with all of you for the greater good of the sport and for our young generations!
Dr Klaus Schormann | UIPM President
Shiny Fang | UIPM Secretary General