Message from the President (Dec. 2013)


Lausanne, 31 december 2013

Dear Colleagues,

Another year draws to a close and I wish to take the opportunity to once again sincerely thank all of you for your support of the International Federation of Sport Medicine in 2013, and extend these thanks to my Colleagues in the Executive Committee and in the FIMS Commissions. It has another time been my absolute honor and pride to lead the FIMS family as a President this year.

At the end of last year, I stated that our activities in 2013 and beyond will have to be directed towards further enhancing the financial capacity of FIMS, to develop the network of Collaborating Centres and to intensify relationship with major stakeholder Organisations in sports medicine.

The challenges to sufficiently resourcing FIMS in these financially insecure times globally remain a major concern of the Executive. The winning of a new sponsor for FIMS in December has been the highly welcome outcome of the continuous fundraising efforts at executive level which require substantial time and effort.

The network of FIMS Collaborating Centres has been considerably expanded with 17  Centres accredited at the end of the year worldwide. Importantly, we have also expanded geographically. It would however be most welcome to receive applications from North America, Australasia, Russia and the Far East in order to achieve our development goals. The currently accredited centres will meet for the first time at the FIMS World Congress in Quebec City in June.

Major advances have also been made with regard to our collaboration with major stakeholders in sports medicine. The FIMS-ACSM Consensus Panel on the Pre-Participation Evaluation in Sports and the invitations to FIMS to attend several UNESCO meetings are examples, but the most important step surely is the recommendation of the SportAccord Council to the SportAccord General Assembly to approve FIMS as an Associate Member of SportAccord.

In summary, I am therefore very satisfied with the achievements of FIMS in 2013. There is however clearly no reason to rest on our laurels but we must only try harder to continuously improve, and this particularly and once more applies to our financial situation.
I want to close this FIMS year quoting one of the towering figures of humanity whose death moved the world a few weeks ago. In a recent blog posted on the British Journal of Sports Medicine website, a South African colleague described how Nelson Mandela´s ethical values might guide sports medicine practice. As a politician and leader, Mandela understood the power and influence of sport as few others, and used it purposefully to obtain his objectives: “Sport has the power to change the world… it has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.”

I trust these words perfectly reflect the beliefs of all of us having dedicated our medical skills and expertise to sports and athletes´ health. But there is another quote from Mandela which fits FIMS´ ongoing activities and challenges perfectly: “After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” What better guiding theme could we ask for, intending to promote an active lifestyle?

In this sporting spirit, we will continue to move towards achieving FIMS´ vision and mission in 2014.

Best wishes for a stimulating and successful new year 2014, may you surpass all your challenges and prosper throughout,

Prof. Fabio Pigozzi, MD
FIMS President