SAMBO and the British Commonwealth

Competitions
10 August 2012 Sergei Grishin
One of the main tasks of FIAS related to the promotion of SAMBO to the program of the Olympic Games is to expand the geographical boundaries of this sport and to enhance its recognizability and popularity in the entire world. Under this slogan, they held a founding congress of British Commonwealth SAMBO Association on March 19-21 in London. This ambitious organization that is so important for FIAS was founded on the initiative of a famous sponsor, patron of several public funds and nongovernmental organizations Lord Reading. The congress was attended by representatives of 15 states - the countries of the British Commonwealth, as well as by representatives of sporting structures of the army and the police, UK SAMBO veterans, and honorary guests. At the congress they shared opinions and discussed the SAMBO development strategies in the countries of the British Commonwealth. The delegates familiarized with the activities of the International SAMBO Federation. They have been very interested to know about partnership relations between FIAS and various international organizations such as Peace and Sport, Sport Accord, TAFISA, FISU, SIZM, etc. The delegates of the congress paid attention to the discussion of the strategy of organization of FIAS assistance to emerging National Federations. The key point of this work is the targeted support on the basis of trilateral agreement for the development of this sport among the National Federation, the National Olympic Committee or the Ministry of Sport, and FIAS. In that case, the agreement will be implemented on the basis of development operation plan of the National SAMBO Federation. In the course of discussion, they suggested a number of projects related to the development of SAMBO in English speaking countries of the Caribbean Basin, Africa, Asia and Oceania. The delegates of the congress actively discussed developments of SAMBO in the UK by way of strengthening of existing Federations (England and Scotland) and development of new ones (Wales, Northern Ireland). In the framework of these activities, they suggested to hold a SAMBO tournament in the UK this year. They suggested that a team competition should be held (on a trial basis) among the 4 nations: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. This format would attract great attention of audience, mass media and young people. They are planning to integrate the tournament with the educative part of the event. The tournament will be continued by the seminars for coaches and referees, as well as by a training camp. In the future, such event could become the basis for organization of a British Commonwealth Championship. The next step will be the holding of a World Championship in the UK. Organization of such an important sporting event (the main event in the calendar of the International SAMBO Federation) is always a powerful catalyst for the development of SAMBO in the region and gives impetus to such development for many years on. The results of the congress in London include not only the establishing of British Commonwealth SAMBO Association but also the approval of the Charter of this organization as well as the election of its main officials. Thus, Lord Simon Reading was elected as the President. Mr. Irving Sellar - a successful businessman, holder of a judo black belt and the author of many projects of cooperation with various governmental and non-governmental organizations - became the 1st Vice President. Prof. Terry Watt - one of the SAMBO pioneers in the UK, participant of many international competitions, and an experienced sports official in the Northern Ireland - was elected as the General Secretary. There have been also elected Vice Presidents and heads of committees for the development of SAMBO in the army and the police, for social projects and for the training of SAMBO coaches. In the closest future the new organization will file an application for the status of an associate member of FIAS at the next congress of the International SAMBO Federation. The establishing of the British Commonwealth SAMBO Association is a great success for FIAS and a good opportunity to make it known in the world. Before us is hard work for the cooperation between the new Association and FIAS, for the development and popularization of SAMBO in the world. Note: The Commonwealth of Nations is a voluntary intergovernmental organization of independent states including the United Kingdom and most of its ex-dominions, colonies and protectorates (totally 54 member states). The member states of the Commonwealth are maintaining normal diplomatic relations through High Commissioners who have the status of ambassadors. The diplomatic relations between the Commonwealth states and other states are carried out in a normal procedure. Traditionally, the Head of the Commonwealth is the king or queen of the United Kingdom; now, it is the queen of the United Kingdom II. The Commonwealth is administrated by the Secretariat the headquarters of which are located in London. Since 2008 the Head of the Secretariat is Kamalesh Sharma (India). The total population of the Commonwealth is about 1.8 bln people which are about 30% of the world's population. The territory of the Commonwealth states spreads over about ? of dry land of the Earth. The largest states are Canada, Australia and India. The Commonwealth is a powerful political and administrative resource; it implements a number of intergovernmental and social programs including cultural and sporting programs. Those programs are coordinated via regional centers in Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Caribbean Basin.


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