Limone sul Garda, Italy, was once more the seat of the annual ISF General Assembly which took place on October 27, 2023. The GA venue was selected to coincide with the VK OPEN Championships Grand Finale and the final race of the Skyrunner® World Series – the SkyMasters, sanctioned by the ISF.
The ISF today counts a total of 47 nations, between full members, associate members and aspirant members. Twenty-four voting members, either direct or by proxy, were represented at the assembly with 15 Members present.
The assembly was chaired by Marino Giacometti, President and Silvio Calvi, VP, International Relations. Giacometti presented the President’s Report illustrating the highlights of the 2022 and 2023 season and expressed great satisfaction for the positive feedback from the Continental Championships in Costa Rica, Brazil and Montenegro as well as the consistent positive and vibrating atmosphere that permeates the Youth Skyrunning World Championships, held again in Gran Sasso, Italy. For the first time, medical research was carried out on the young athletes by the University of Bologna with a view to better define ideal parameters in the future.
Another positive result in 2023 was the first Masters Skyrunning Championships for the over-forties held in the Gran Paradiso National Park in the Italian Alps, sponsored by Millet and the participation of 17 official teams.
The main events of the 2024 season were confirmed with the Masters Skyrunning World Championships in Portugal on April 13-14 and the Skyrunning World Championships in Spain on September 6-8.
After the success of the first European Championships in the Balkans, Montenegro prepares to welcome the 2024 Youth Skyrunning World Championships on June 28-30, moving from the wild area of the Prokletije mountains to Bar, on the Adriatic coast. With technical climbs over limestone courses, it represents a new, exciting experience for young skyrunners to explore the country which is increasingly developing the sport of skyrunning.
The General Assembly saw the confirmation of two vice-Presidents for another four-year term: Silvio Calvi and Rogelio Macias retain their seats. “For me it is a privilege and an honour to be able to continue working for the ISF as VP with an exciting project to develop our sport on a global level. I want to thank all the member countries for their involvement in improving skyrunning and of course, I’m at your disposal to bring this forward,” commented Macias.
Secretary General, Alexander Keim, responsible for the Strategic Plan and working on the concrete development of the Federation since 2020, vacates his post ahead of term but will lead the Financial Committee. Pavlos Georgiades from Cyprus, previously on the Management Committee, was elected Secretary General for a four-year term. “I would like to thank you all for your vote of confidence and I promise I will do my best to bring the ISF forward,” he stated. “To my fellow Board members, I would like to say that I’m very excited and ready to start working for the improvement of our sport. As Steve Jobs said, ‘Great things are never done by one person, they’re done by a team of people’. I want to bring the expertise I gathered in my sports career to the ISF and help skyrunning become an IOC recognised sport and hopefully a winter or summer Olympic sport one day!”
Vice-President Lauri van Houten presented the media report illustrating a substantial improvement in all sectors with increased followers on social media and a 213% increase in the number of pages visited per session on the website, www.skyrunning.com, also thanks to the introduction of two key projects – the performance-based ranking and the ISF Card. Eighteen countries published on digital and print media, including the prestigious Wall Street Journal and The Times.
With new events and developments defining the future, the 2023 General Assembly came to a successful close ahead of the following day’s VK OPEN Championships Grand Finale and the Skyrunner® World Series SkyMasters – where medallists from the various ISF championships not only qualified, but took the win with the men’s 2022 Skyrunning World Champion (Roberto Delorenzi from Switzerland).
WADA anti-doping tests were carried out at the SkyMasters in collaboration with the ISF.
Always with an eye on the sky, the ISF continues its upward climb with an ever-stronger federation working for “Less cloud. More sky!”