UIPM President Schormann visits Cape Town (RSA) for African development talks
In the wake of the historic 72nd UIPM Congress in Monaco last month, UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann travelled to Cape Town (RSA) for meetings with the Executive Board (EB) of the African Confederation of Modern Pentathlon.
After a briefing from President Dr Schormann and Dr Viacheslav Malishev, UIPM EB Member for Development, CAPM EB Members discussed the preparation of African teams for the Dakar 2026 Youth Olympic Games, which will be the first Olympics to be held in the continent.
President Dr Schormann said: “It was very important that, together with the EB Members of CAPM, we discussed ways to make our sporting movement as strong as possible in Africa in preparation for the Youth Olympic Games Dakar 2026. Also we discussed deeply the possibilities for future development of Modern Pentathlon across the whole continent.
“The new Obstacle Discipline, which will replace Riding after Paris 2024, offers great potential for countries all over the world but especially in Africa, where the lack of horses has limited the growth of Modern Pentathlon until now. We are very confident that the integration of Obstacle into our sport will make it much more accessible for athletes worldwide.”
Dr Schormann’s trip came just weeks after the UIPM President signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Association of African National Olympic Committees (ANOCA), designed to stimulate the development of UIPM Sports across Africa. It also coincided with the 70th anniversary of the South African Modern Pentathlon Association (SAMPA).
Sylvestre Zare, CAPM President, said: “We have new continental competitions starting from 2023 and I thank the CAPM Executive Board members for their support and productive working days in Cape Town. I am grateful to the UIPM President and the EB Member for Development for their political and developmental help and support, and their permanent attention to the African Confederation.”
Dr Viacheslav Malishev added: “We had a very important and useful meeting with the CAPM EB and I’m delighted to see that an action plan for 2023 is in place. We’re very happy to continue working closely together with the Confederation President and all EB Members.”
In addition to meeting with SAMPA President Frans van Niekerk, UIPM President Dr Schormann also met with two of his predecessors and former pentathletes, Mark Wiley (a former Senator and Western Cape Interior Minister) and Neil Fourie (a stadium and sport facility designer and project manager previously commissioned by the IOC to design two IOC Youth Development Centres in Haiti and Zambia). All have enthusiastically embraced the addition of Obstacle to the sport with the aim of inclusion in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games.
Presidents Schormann and van Niekerk also met with regional political leaders Anroux Marais (Western Cape Provincial Minister for Sport and Culture), Hermann van der Westhuizen (Western Cape Head of Ministry of Cultural Affairs & Sport) and Alderman JP Smith (City of Cape Town Executive Committee Member with responsibility for Events, Safety and Security).
They discussed future Modern Pentathlon projects in South Africa, including competitions in the Western Cape Province, and training and seminars in Stellenbosch and Cape Town. Minister Marais also reiterated support for Obstacle’s addition to the Modern Pentathlon format, and pledged to help with all future SAMPA activities.
The UIPM President’s visit included a meeting at the Stellenbosch University of Sport with participants in a UIPM coaching seminar, where Dr Schormann, Dr Malishev and SAMPA President Niekerk briefed the coaches on next steps for competitions including Obstacle as a replacement for Riding in the near future and preparatory steps for Paris 2024.
In recognition of SAMPA’s 70th anniversary and the UIPM 1996 Pentathlon World Cup Final in Stellenbosch (RSA), UIPM President Dr Schormann planted a tree together with Dr Malishev, SAMPA EB Members and coaching seminar participants.
On December 8, the trip concluded with a visit to a multi-sport complex in Franschhoek that is under construction based on a design by Mr Fourie. The complex includes a FINA (International Swimming Federation) high-performance centre and will offer facilities for all Modern Pentathlon disciplines.
In January 2023, SAMPA President Van Niekerk will prepare all documentation to acquire the necessary assistance to develop new Modern Pentathlon training facilities that include Obstacle Discipline.