UIPM Secretary General’s Message: My reflections on Bath and where we go now
As our flagship annual event, the UIPM Pentathlon and Laser Run World Championships always carries a high-priority status.
This year’s competition felt like an especially significant milestone, not only because of the progress that has evidently been made by the 54 nations that participated, but also because of the important meetings and decisions that took place behind the scenes in Bath (GBR).
To see 800 athletes from 54 countries competing across 10 days of Pentathlon, Laser Run and Para Laser Run demonstrated the growth of the sport at both development and elite levels.
The competitive level of Laser Run has clearly increased, while in Pentathlon, competition was clearly fierce with Paris 2024 Olympic qualification on the line, but also fair. Not only does our sport create the most complete athletes, they also compete in the best possible spirit.
On the organisational side, the local team led by Pentathlon GB arranged and conducted the events professionally and effectively, gaining respect from all stakeholders. UIPM officials, delegates and staff team as usual delivered their best and I’m proud to be part of this tireless and talented team.
On August 26, there was a historic moment as UIPM signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Obstacle Sports Federation (FISO) with the shared aim of creating a sporting movement with more audience and active participants. I see three main benefits of this agreement:
- UIPM’s integration of FISO will broaden the base of our sport, attracting new viewers and a new athlete community for future Olympic Games.
- It allows for a growing trend sport to be directly governed by an IOC-recognised Olympic sport federation, which will add more value to the Olympic movement, in line with current and future youth-oriented Olympic innovations.
- On the ground it will create significant opportunities and possibilities based on the size and interests of millions of Obstacle sports participants of all kinds, enabling us to leverage the existing impact of broadcast and digital profile held by influencers, stars and opinion leaders across the community.
As we await the outcome of our proposal for a new Modern Pentathlon including Obstacle to be confirmed on the programme of the Los Angeles 2028 Olympic Games, there are a few key priorities as we move forward from a memorable couple of weeks in Bath.
- As members of the UIPM Riding Working Group pointed out during their meeting in Bath, we need to continuously improving the Riding event across all possible aspects before Paris 2024 and coordinate with related parties for the best possible Olympic preparation.
- Working with UIPM stakeholders and National Federations to make the sport more and more accessible, and to provide all possible support and services to the people working hard on development in all regions and corners of the world.
- Keep improving the presentation and understandability of Modern Pentathlon to attract new spectators and audiences, especially to be attractive for youth generations.
- To be open-minded in embracing the collective efforts of our new broader community, to keep building a much bigger base for all of our multi-discipline sports.
- Aiming to be a sustainable international organisation through all dimensions of services to enhance the level and the quality of UIPM Sports in all relevant areas.
I am grateful to everyone whose teamwork enabled us to put on a great show in Bath and whose efforts, in the longer term, are helping to futureproof Modern Pentathlon for the benefit of tomorrow’s athletes and fans.