By Jacqui Bruwer
The 60th IPC Plenary Meeting took place on Saturday 31st January and Sunday 1st February 2009, at Västerås, Sweden. The preceding 3 days were used by the working committees to discuss rule changes, bid documents and to prepare for the official Plenary Meeting. Voting took place during the official Plenary Meeting and the rule changes will be available at the beginning of March!!
Arriving from a sunny South Africa to sub zero temperatures was a shock but the friendly nature of our host, Sweden, who treated me with a sight seeing excursion for 3 days was a welcome retreat. It was overwhelming to meet so many new faces from different countries that have all made their mark in skydiving. I once again felt like the baby who needed to learn the ropes of skydiving.
I had met some of the members during the CP World Championships held in 2008 at Pretoria Skydiving Club and some members from my early days as a child in skydiving, so I wasn’t completely lost. It was great meeting the people behind the e-mails and correspondence at last.
South Africa was praised for their up and coming Judges and excellent Championships held and a remark from one of the members expressed the common view: “we expect more great events and skydivers from South Africa!”
Presenting the bid to host the Canopy Piloting World Cup at the discussion meetings was nerve wracking and millions of questions were thrown at me. Luckily, Pottie and Nicholas briefed me well and gave me all the necessary documents to answer these. If I thought the 1st presentation was nerve wracking, the official meeting presentation was even more so. Gone was the friendly banter and now it was back to business. Luckily all went as planned and we got a unanimous vote to host the event.
It was such a proud moment when two South Africans, Rob Kruger and Christopher Teague, were named as competitors for the World Games and World Air Games. The World Air Games is a competition for all Air Sports in the world and the World Games is the qualifying games for the Olympics. The IPC have been part of the World Games for a number of years in order to get Olympic Status. No word on this yet, but they will keep us posted.
I have learnt a lot during my 1st IPC meeting and never dreamt of the amount of work that goes into keeping skydiving healthy and competitive around the world. Each country contributes to the IPC and it’s imperative that South Africa makes a stand, whether it’s with hosting International competitions, qualifying our judges, producing competitive skydivers or just by providing information to and from the IPC.
A huge thank you to the SSA for their contribution, to Pia Berggren (Chief Judge of the FAI) and her family for their hospitality and to all the skydivers in South Africa for allowing me to be part of such a great event!
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