Message from the President (December 2012)

Lausanne, 31 December 2012

Dear Colleagues, dear Friends,

At the end of a successful year of development and growth for FIMS, I would like to wholeheartedly thank you for your valued contribution to our achievements as much as for your collegiality and friendship which form the professional spirit within the FIMS Family that we all cherish.

Besides expressing my sincere gratitude to everyone involved, the end-of-year message is the place for the President to take stock of those last twelve months. However, as this point in time also marks the halftime of my presidency, I ask you to allow me to extend my resume to the last two years – not for the sake of looking back itself, but to analyse and plan our future activities accordingly.

Undoubtedly, all of us still have vivid memories of the overwhelming success of the 32nd FIMS World Congress of Sports Medicine in September in Rome. A total of 2800 sports physicians and scientists, physiotherapists, sport scientists, students and other colleagues from 92 National Sports Medicine Associations in five continents convened in Rome, making this the largest FIMS World Congress ever. The World Congress remains our educational and scientific flagship event offering not only unique opportunities for continuous education and keeping up-to-date with latest scientific evidence, but also for networking and promotion of FIMS. It is our responsibility to open this congress for as many colleagues worldwide as possible, and we need to make particular efforts to enable those from regions where sports medicine is still developing to participate. It will be a major task of the Council of Delegates and future organising committees to duly consider and optimise the accessibility and affordability of locations for colleagues from remote and resource-limited regions.

Another major task I never get tired to stress is the consolidation of the financial foundation of FIMS. Since the beginning of my term, we have been able to triplicate the budget that is at FIMS´ disposal to support our activities. Today, we have four major sponsors, BoscosystemLab, Creagri Inc., Merck,Sharp&Dohme and Pharmanutra, whom we need to cultivate and partner with professionally. However, to achieve our goals and develop as an organisation, we need to further extend our sponsor base. Our prospect for success in this vital matter is closely linked to the visibility, image and influence of FIMS. The size and success of the FIMS World Congress in 2012 has sent an important message to current and potential sponsors, a message which surely has increased our attractiveness. We need to maintain and build on this in the future.

Further, the establishment of our Headquarters at the Maison du Sport Internationale in Lausanne has not only given FIMS a home, but the location gives us the perfect opportunity to strengthen our relationships with the sport, scientific and medical communities and the leading international bodies. FIMS has been registered as a tax-exempt organisation in the Swiss Canton Vaud and is in the process of being registered in the commercial registry, which will greatly facilitate all banking arrangements and transfers. The crucial next step now is the employment of an at least part-time administrator.

Another major achievement, which has been high up on the Executive Committee´s agenda for long, is the establishment of the FIMS Collaborating Centres of Sports Medicine launched in autumn 2012. These Centres are meant to play a vital role in distributing and implementing the objectives formulated in FIMS´ vision and mission. Referring to my above comments on the advancement of our profession and in order to promote best practice sport medicine worldwide, a pivotal task of these Centres has to be the promotion of a mentoring model applicable to developing countries and early career professionals. This is also an area where their achievements are demonstrable and can be measured. It is our hope to gradually extent this network of local collaborations, which will at the same time continuously increase its importance and influence.

In summary, underlining the importance of our recent achievements, our activities in 2013 and beyond will have to be directed towards further enhancing the financial capacity of FIMS by entering into further sponsorships and develop alternative sources of income; to appropriately staff our Headquarters; to develop the network of FIMS Collaborating Centres and to intensify FIMS´ relationship with major stakeholder organisations in sports medicine. The next milestone event we are all working towards is the 33rd FIMS World Congress of Sports Medicine in Quebec, Canada, in 2014 where we shall all convene as part of an ever growing and more influential FIMS family all over the world.

Again, I sincerely thank all of you for your support of FIMS, my Colleagues in the Executive Committee and in the FIMS Commissions and the Organizers of the excellent congress in Rome for their work and contribution. I am looking forward to using the momentum created to further grow FIMS, advance the knowledge and skills in sports medicine and impact on the way sports and physical activity is used to protect athletes´ and community health worldwide.

With my very best wishes for an active, fulfilled and inspiring new year,

Prof. Fabio Pigozzi, MD
President of the International Federation of Sports Medicine