Open Letter from the IFSC Athletes Commission against end to free livestream
We have received and publish an Open Letter from the IFSC Athletes Commission, the body that provides a channel for communication between athletes and the IFSC Board, following the shock decision of the International Federation of Sport Climbing to put an end to free livestreaming of its climbing competitions.
The last few days have been dramatic - never before has the climbing community been so vocal and united in opposition to a decision involving our sport.
The IFSC rightly states that it values good governance and transparency, and that its athletes are included in decision making processes at all levels. However we would not be where we are today if this were completely true:
- rule changes have been introduced with little communication or debate, and in our view without proper consideration of the consequences;
- the media rights for our sport have apparently been sold with no consultation, and with no apparent consideration for the effects on athletes, sponsors, organisers or the community that ultimately makes climbing the sport we love.
We are saddened that the IFSC has chosen not to be open, not just with us but with the climbing community at large. To us, this is opposite to the spirit that defines our sport.
We are speaking up now because we are disappointed and frustrated; we feel that we have reached a dead end in trying to influence the IFSC quietly from the inside.
If we believed that it was too late for the IFSC to act in accordance with its stated values we would not be writing this, but we have to call for a change in behaviour.
We are concerned that the IFSC will try to manage its way past this crisis and then go back to business as usual. This is not a course of action that we can agree with.
To make our voices heard, starting at the Meiringen World Cup, we have asked the athletes to withdraw cooperation with the livestream media until changes are made.
Our aims are to have:
- effective consultation on (rule) changes that affect the athletes;
- a free livestream on an IFSC platform indefinitely.
We are speaking out publicly because we believe that the IFSC and its board members will rightly be judged by their action or inaction. We hope our actions will help the IFSC hold itself accountable, not to us, but to the climbing community at large. As athletes, we want to see our sport grow and prosper, but success must be measured in more than financial return.
IFSC Athletes Commission
The Athletes’ commission is an IFSC statutory commission. The President sits on the IFSC Executive Board, with full voting rights. The Athletes of all three disciplines are represented in this IFSC body. The commission provides a channel for communication between athletes and the IFSC Board. It also supports the IFSC in developing the sport, monitoring the health of all athletes, and fighting against doping.
President Sean McColl CAN
Lead representatives Jakob Schubert, Delaney Miller, Charlotte Durif, Jain Kim
Boulder representative Sebastian Halenke (appointed by IFSC President), Jorg Verhoven (appointed by IFSC President), Domen Skofic, Akiyo Noguchi
Speed representative Anna Tsyganova, Dmitrii Timofeev, Libor Hroza, Stanislav Kokorin