World Rugby Unveils Next Phase of Player Welfare Strategy – Federation Focus

Also: IPC and World DanceSport Federation discuss governance transfers; American Boxing Confederation president resigns

(ATR) Bill Beaumont, Chairman of World Rugby, announced his federation’s plans to further ensure the welfare of rugby athletes in an open letter published on Tuesday.

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont (World Rugby)
World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont (World Rugby)

Outlining a six-point plan of action, Beaumont focused in particular on player safety initiatives; pledging to increase scientific research on the impacts of head injuries, create dedicated resources to educate players about brain health, and trial several changes to the laws of the game aimed at reducing the intensity of player contact. Beaumont also announced that World Rugby would be funding a group of ‘Independent Concussion Consultants’ to support team doctors in designing individualized recovery processes from injury.

Other parts of the plan involve investing more into the women’s game and creating support mechanisms for players after their careers. These new commitments build upon several pioneering player welfare initiatives World Rugby has already taken, such as the Head Injury Assessment and Graduated Return-To-Play framework for injured athletes.

“I am clear that continuing to put player welfare front and centre is critical if we are to grow our sport. The welfare of our players has always been our number one priority, and the plan we are releasing today underlines that commitment”, Beaumont said in his letter.

“Our ambition is for rugby to be the most progressive sport in the world on player welfare”.

IPC and World DanceSport Federation Discuss Governance Transfers

The International Paralympic Committee has initiated conversations with the World DanceSport Federation targeted at transferring governance for Para dance sport to the WSDF from the IPC.

Para dancesport (IPC/Eva Pavia)
Para dancesport (IPC/Eva Pavia)

Para dance sport remains one of the nine international Para sports that are not governed by their respective sports federations, but instead fall directly under the IPC. The IPC drafted a managed exit process in 2019, through which sports under its jurisdiction are able to leave and join a federation of their own. While negotiations remain ongoing and are subject to full WSDF approval, the WSDF and IPC have agreed on a tentative plan for the transfer’s steps, with the aim of governance moving to the WDSF by early 2022.

“We look forward to welcoming the World DanceSport Federation into the Paralympic Movement, as we believe the WDSF to be the ideal home for Para dance sport to grow and to thrive”, IPC President Andrew Parsons said of the prospective transfer.

WSDF President Shawn Tay concurred, adding: “We want to further develop Para dance sport to reach its fullest potential, and we look forward to welcoming the Para dance sport community to our federation, subject to the approval of our Annual General Meeting”.

Para dance sport is expected to lobby for inclusion in the 2028 Paralympic Games.

American Boxing Confederation President Resigns

Osvaldo Bisbal, former American Boxing Confederation President (Twitter)
Osvaldo Bisbal, former American Boxing Confederation President (Twitter)

Osvaldo Bisbal, President of the American Boxing Confederation (AMBC) and International Boxing Association (AIBA) Vice President, resigned from his position on July 9 for health reasons.

Bisbal had been a member of AIBA’s Executive Committee since 1998, and served as President of the Argentinian National Federation from 1991 until 2014, when he was elected as the AMBC President. Ray Silvas of the United States, a member of AIBA’s Board of Directors, has been appointed to lead the AMBC on an interim basis until the next election.

“During these last months and with a very close circle, I have been analyzing to take this decision as a result of personal issues related to my health condition. After medical checks and with the permanent advice mainly to take care of my health and the impossibility of taking long trips, I have decided, as I have commented some time ago to some AMBC members, to present my resignation to the AIBA Board of Directors and consequently to the position of the American Boxing Confederation President”, Bisbal explained in his resignation letter.

Written by Filip Vachuda