UIPM receives official support from national governing bodies on 5th Discipline consultation
- Readiness among nations to embrace process matched by all six Confederations
- Letters include a willingness to work together to grasp opportunity
- President Schormann: ‘Our global community always embraces innovation’
UIPM has received official letters of support from National Federations (NFs) and their leaders in response to the Executive Board’s decision to open a consultation around the 5th Discipline in Modern Pentathlon.
This support, expressed with an associated willingness to work together as a global UIPM Sports community to create new opportunities for future generations, came in the first week of the consultation process.
The wave of support demonstrates that the difficult decision to seek an alternative to the Riding discipline – and thereby launch a more globally accessible and sustainable era for Modern Pentathlon after the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, without discrimination for any country or region or social class – has been accepted by a lot of UIPM National Federations not only as a necessary step but a positive development opportunity for the sport.
Many of the world’s most prominent Modern Pentathlon nations were among more than 50 until today that wrote official letters of support to UIPM (see examples below).
UIPM also notes once again the concerns raised by some NFs following the EB decision to assess alternative disciplines to Riding for the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028.
The EB would like to reiterate that this decision was not taken lightly at all. Besides the recommendations of the UIPM Innovation Commission, the EB also took into account a series of IOC evaluation and selection criteria that will determine the ranking of the sports and which sports are on the programme for LA 2028, and the urgent obligation to submit a proposal to the International Olympic Committee one week before the Olympic Programme Commission meeting scheduled for December 1, 2021.
It is also important to reiterate that no sport nor event is decided for LA 2028 at this moment. The programmes are going to be decided by the IOC EB in its meeting on December 7-9, 2021 having been empowered with this competence by the 138th IOC Session in Tokyo in July 2021. And the decision will be based on the recommendations from the Programme Commission.
In opening a consultation around the 5th Discipline, the EB acted entirely in the interest of insuring Modern Pentathlon’s future in the Olympic Games. UIPM would like to state that the EB decision only related to the proposal to be submitted to the IOC around LA 2028, and the EB has not decided on any amendments to the UIPM Statutes or UIPM Competition Rules or indeed any potential discipline to replace Riding.
UIPM is fully aware that the competence for changing the abovementioned rules lies with the UIPM Congress and that any relevant motions will be discussed within that forum following extensive consultation with all stakeholders among the Modern Pentathlon family. This process has begun and will continue during and after the upcoming UIPM 2021 Congress. UIPM’s aim is for any decisions around proposed changes to UIPM Regulations to be made during UIPM 2022 Congress.
In the meantime, UIPM would like to thank all NFs who have sent official letters of support as part of a pan-continental response, complemented by strong support from all of UIPM’s Confederations in Africa, Asia, Europe, NORCECA, Oceania and South America.
Examples of the correspondence include:
ANDREY MOISEEV (RUSSIA – 2 x OLYMPIC CHAMPION AND NATIONAL COACH)
“I was lucky enough to participate in three Olympic Games. In my opinion, we should definitely give other generations the opportunity to participate in these competitions, the Olympics. That's why the main task is to keep our sport in the Olympic programme.
“During the last 30 years practically at every Olympic Games we come across sports tragedies during show jumping. Unfortunately, there is no other solution to this issue. I hope that with the replacement of show jumping, our sport will become fairer and fairer to the athletes around the world.”
EGYPTIAN MODERN PENTATHLON FEDERATION
“[Replacing Riding] will definitely make the sport more accessible to many new players and new nations worldwide. As horses are very expensive and the cost of rent for training / competition is also very high.
“UIPM has tried numerous ways to expand the sport worldwide by introducing the very successful Laser Run competitions as well as the Biathle/Triathle competitions, but [many of] the athletes who enjoy and compete at those competitions never make it to the full Pentathlon. The main reason is because we have Riding – a sport not affordable or accessible to most.
“Africa (for example) has 54 countries and only [some of them] are able to compete at the full Pentathlon level. Without Riding, it will give all the remaining countries a chance to flourish and compete with equal chances.”
CHINESE MODERN PENTATHLON FEDERATION
“While the Chinese economy is developing rapidly, the funding required for Riding training is still a big problem. In addition, when holding a Modern Pentathlon competition, at least two-thirds of the budget must be used for horses yet without guarantee of the quality leaving athletes in unfair and unexpected conditions during the riding event, which has discouraged many organisers who were originally interested in hosting Modern Pentathlon events. This has impacted strongly on the sport’s development in more regions.”
FRENCH MODERN PENTATHLON FEDERATION
“It is difficult and very expensive, even for a country like France, to find good level lots of similar-skilled horses for national competitions and even more difficult for international ones.
“This is why we support UIPM’s decision. We think there are solutions to comply both with the narrative of Pierre de Coubertin concerning the “complete athlete” and the necessity of easier access to our sport for the youth, of fair competitions, and for development.
“These conditions are necessary to ensure our future. We will be happy to help on finding a solution and will be available for testing different options if UIPM wishes so.”
PHILIPPINE MODERN PENTATHLON ASSOCIATION
“We welcome the most recent decision of the UIPM Executive Board on the removal of horse riding from Modern Pentathlon. For a nation as ours, where Modern Pentathlon is at the inception of development, this will allow resources to be concentrated on the other events of Modern Pentathlon. [We] expect that this update would not only strengthen the existing programmes of nations but will expand the accessibility and reach of Modern Pentathlon to more nations and athletes.”
UGANDA MODERN PENTATHLON FEDERATION
“Horse riding is very expensive and this has hindered us as a federation to grow the sport considering the logistics required.
“Horses are rare to find in [our] country and them being athletes of the sport, it becomes hard to groom them considering the requirements.
“For the above reasons, I hope you will kindly consider another sport to replace Riding so that you can make the sport accessible to all of us globally.”
UIPM President Dr Klaus Schormann said: “Following the strong exchange of views that took place in various meetings of our global community in the past days, I would like to thank all the National Federations that have made their voice heard, and especially to express my gratitude on behalf of the EB for the powerful wave of support for the 5th Discipline consultation that has come from both our NFs and Confederations.
“This is a profound moment for our sport and it has been very difficult for many of us with a long association with Modern Pentathlon to accept that such a fundamental change is necessary. That is why I am so pleased we received this official support from people who truly care about the future of the sport. Our global community always embraces innovation.
“We also accept that some countries are finding it harder to accept the transition, especially those countries where there is a strong tradition of equestrianism. We take this opportunity to point out that the proposed replacement of Riding in our point of view would not necessarily be enforced at all levels of Modern Pentathlon worldwide, only within the competition structures and training pathways relevant to athletes who plan to compete in future Olympic Games from Los Angeles 2028.
“UIPM will continue to work with all stakeholders hand in hand to create a clear vision for the future of Modern Pentathlon, and to realise the Olympic dreams of future generations of athletes.”