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UIPM Secretary General’s Message: More competitive elections can lead to more interest, more possibilities … and better decisions

UIPM Family

We are in election year. And so far, all the evidence points towards a reinforcement of the vital democracy that is so important to the growth of UIPM as a global sports community.


Asia: a new diversity emerges

The first encouraging sign came during the Asian Modern Pentathlon Confederation (AMPC) elections. There was a record number of candidates interested in attaining the honour of a leadership role in one of our sport’s most progressive continents.

During this electoral process, the interests and sporting benefits to National Federations in the region were heard loud and clear. It was the first time Asian NFs had communicated so many angles and opinions about what their continental representative body can achieve, revealing the diversity that exists.

In parallel to the AMPC Congress, the 2024 Asian Senior and U19 Championships were held, also in Hwaseong, Korea. For the first time, youth athletes had to earn the right to compete in the Final through qualification rounds.

With the new dimension of Obstacle discipline included in the competition format, it was another sign of increased accessibility within Modern Pentathlon, with participants coming from all corners.


Athletes from all corners of the globe

Another important moment in our democratic evolution this year will come in Zhengzhou, China, in June.

Participants in the UIPM 2024 Pentathlon World Championships will have the right to vote in the election of the global representative of the UIPM Athletes Committee, who will be joined by representatives of each continent when their mandate for the next Olympic cycle begins in 2025.

This is the first time the election of the global member has attracted seven eligible candidates from three continents. These athletes want their voice to be heard and they believe they can use the platform to make a difference.

It is also the first time the nomination of athlete representatives has been close to a 50-50 gender split. If this balance does not yet apply to all representative positions within UIPM, at least in the athlete community we are proud of the equality that exists.


Three Ds: dialogue, divergence, decision-making dynamics

I liked the concept of ‘One Asia’ that featured in the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) reception during the 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. It presents the Asian culture and solidarity. At the same time, we can’t ignore the fact that Asia is composed of many regions, and the diversity is there.

Important decisions somehow need smarter ‘decision architecture’, and experience has taught us that cooperation plus procedure will make the difference – this has been proved by analysis and research, too.

Personally, I believe in the logic that a healthy decision needs 3 important pillars: dialogue, divergence and decision-making dynamics. Do we have this in all of our decisions? Obviously they are not all fully embedded, and some decisions can be made without all three.

However, seeing the process of AMPC elections and the eligible candidates for the global place on the UIPM Athletes Committee, it conveyed the message that our governance is open-minded and embracing. That might be one of the reasons for the attraction of interest, and it is in fact very positive.

Continent to continent, we will see differences in operational model, but I do hope that the positive launch of a new era for Asia can relay some positive spirit and give the community a fresh way of seeing things.

In the year of 2024, I also hope through my reflections each month to share with the community some charming development outcomes, no matter for which level or dimension of the UIPM movement.

It is my true belief that, at the heart of democracy, more competitive elections can lead to more interest, more possibilities and, ultimately, better decisions.

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