In the lead-up to the XIX IFSC General Assembly in Singapore, delegates from the world Climbing family attended a trio of workshops aimed at providing them with key information and best practices that they can take back and apply at the local and national levels.

Held at the Swissôtel The Stamford, the workshops featured a number of presentations and roundtable discussions led by top-level presenters from the world of sport and health.

With Climbing still new to the Olympic family, Joop Alberda, the gold-medal winning coach of the Netherlands men’s Olympic volleyball team, walked the delegates through what it takes to be in the Olympic environment and how best to assist athletes and Federations on the Olympic path.

Boasting an extensive CV in coaching and sports administration inside the Olympic Movement, Alberda broke down his vast experience in athletics, swimming, rowing, volleyball, cycling and football in an easy-to-follow journey through the Olympic lifecycle.

Alberda conceptualised the journey of Climbing in the Olympics as a journey with stops along the way. He provided a recap of Tokyo 2020, where Climbing made its Olympic debut, before looking ahead to Paris 2024, which he said will give Sport Climbing a much more realistic Olympic experience than at Tokyo 2020, which was held during the coronavirus pandemic and featured numerous restrictions.

Focusing more on National Federations, Alberda worked through the key components of high-performance sport and outlined the values involved before focusing attention on potential future changes that may impact them.

With new Federations forming around the world and others expanding, Alberda took time to introduce high-performance culture and offered points on how it can be created within organisations.

Dr Margo Mountjoy, a sport medicine doctor, scientist and professor with experience at the Olympic Games and Youth Olympic Games, discussed her expertise in relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S) while presenting the most common signs and symptoms to help raise awareness. Mountjoy also updated the participants on the latest outcomes from the IOC RED-S consensus  statement.

Maria Stefania Ionel brought the RED-S workshop to a close with a "Consensus Statement on Eating Disorders in Climbing". Ionel is a Clinical & Sport Psychologist who represents a group of nine psychologists and the International Association of Psychologists in Climbing. After discussing the signs and symptoms of eating disorders, she finished her presentation with ways to limit risk, increase protection and better manage eating disorders in sport.

Bringing the mental health of athletes into focus, Sam Parfitt, Founder and CEO of The True Athlete Project (TAP) - a charity in Great Britain and USA with the aim of building a more compassionate world through sport – addressed delegates.

Taking attendees on another journey, this time through TAP and his own personal experiences, Parfitt looked at the challenges within Climbing and the importance of legacy and what the Federations may want to leave behind.

As a group there were reflections and memories from the Federations about Climbing before feedback about those experiences. The next step in the workshop was how those experiences could potentially change for the better for future generations.

Parfitt welcomed Athletes' Commission representatives Shauna Coxsey and Sean McColl to his session to give a first-hand elite perspective and add further insight from the top end of the sport. 

General Assembly hosts Singapore Sport Climbing and Mountaineering Federation brought Dominik Pandurević and Dr. Klaus Hochradel to present a study they have been working on in conjunction with the federation and the National Youth Sports Institute - Singapore.

The study, titled Introduction of a Method for an Automated Motion Capturing System for Speed Climbing’, is a joint venture that looks at the mechanics and movement of Speed climbers through video analysis and data.

The XIX IFSC General Assembly will continue in Singapore with two days of meetings at Swissôtel The Stamford on 31 March and 1 April.

300323 IFSC News national federations attend ifsc workshops in singaporeJoop Alberda hosting a workshop in Singapore © Faizola Nordin/IFSC

XIX General Assembly

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