Your innovation in adversity made me so proud in 2020: UIPM Secretary General’s Message
What a year it has been. So many highs and lows, so many challenges, so many uncertainties.
The only certainty, in fact, was the commitment demonstrated by our global community to keeping our sporting movement alive. And not just keeping the sport alive but making it stronger for tomorrow.
In 2021, we all hope to experience some normality again, but what if normal becomes something new?
In 2020 I was proud to see how the global UIPM Sports community adapted to the difficult circumstances, taking the opportunity to become trailblazers for a future that is already here!
In May we broke new ground with our first virtual competition, #LaserHomeRun, and in September we introduced #LaserAllStars. Be assured, these are not gimmicks – virtual events could become a permanent part of our competition calendar if the format is manageable. In future we could even have Pentathlon All Stars.
We are also very close to launching our first UIPM E-sports product, which I am sure the many gamers in our community and in the wider world will love.
UIPM Sports will always be a movement defined by athletic achievement – staying true to the vision of Coubertin to create the ultimate athlete. But we also need to consider what that means in a 21st century context, always remaining relevant to the way young people engage online and how they see sport.
As we evolve our digital and virtual offerings, we invite everyone in the global community to keep sending us ideas, feedback and suggestions. We had a great response to the call for ‘Pentathlon Stories’ late in 2020 – there are some amazing authors of all ages in our community! UIPM will be ready to join in all kinds of virtual Games and festivals. We are living in a real world, and we open our eyes to changes within that world whether online or offline.
As the first International Federation and still the only sport to use laser shooting in all real sport events, our athletes had already embraced technology and adapted themselves for environmentally friendly sport and a sustainable future.
But we are living more and more in an online environment. The pandemic accelerated the process of everything becoming inter-connected, giving our athletes the chance to use their sporting skill in laser shooting to demonstrate the spirit of sport in a virtual world!
There were some really unforgettable moments this year, some light amid the darkness. And we owe it all to the people who demonstrated innovation in adversity.
UIPM Secretary General Shiny Fang