On 29th May 2017, BISFed held its second General Assembly in Hong Kong, hosted by the National Paralympic Committee of Hong Kong. 24 Full BISFed members attended the meeting to hear reports of progress, debate motions and elect a new Board.
In his report to the meeting, President David Hadfield highlighted:
- A 20% growth in BISFed Membership to 60 Full and 4 Affiliate Members; and the success of the ‘Making Boccia Accessible’ project which has introduced Boccia to over 10,000 new players so far.
- The successful launch of the BISFed Competition Management System which has been used at 4 competitions in 2017 and will be the standard at all future sanctioned competitions.
- The introduction of revised Rules in 2017, including the new Roll test which had been used for the first time at the 2017 Asia and Oceania Championships. It was pleasing that of 1500 balls tested, only 10 had failed. It has also been agreed that from 2018, the requirement under Rule 3.2 for an athlete with CP to be included in BC3 Pairs competition will be removed.
- That BISFed is concentrating on training sufficient International Technical Officials to be able to support a much expanded Competition System (more than 40 competitions from 2017 – 20).
- That BISFed’s financial position is sound.
- • That the newly elected Board would focus on a clear plan to continue to grow the sport. Key tasks would be to: create ever more opportunities for athletes to compete; implement a revised World Ranking system; improve the presentation of boccia at major competitions; and keep boccia a clean sport.
The President thanked all the retiring Board Members for their hard work and support which has helped to make BISFed a strong governing body and boccia one of very few Paralympic sports which is currently growing. The Members then elected the following individuals to the BISFed Board:
- Jon Morgan (UK Boccia)
Members at Large:
- Martin LAM (Hong Kong)
- Marta MASCARENHAS (Portugal)
- Marcela RAMON (Colombia)
- Dina SOTIRIADI (Greece)
Before closing the meeting, the President proposed that retiring Vice President, Joaquim Viegas be appointed BISFed’s first Honorary Vice President for Life in recognition of his dedicated and outstanding service to boccia over more than 30 years. Amongst his many achievements, Joaquim had acted as Technical Delegate at 7 Paralympic Games, and was instrumental in helping to form BISFed as the new governing body for boccia in 2013.
Honorary Vice President, Joaquim Viegas receiving a gift from IPC President, Sir Philip Craven during the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
The Membership unanimously supported the proposal with a round of applause.