Feedback from 2010 FIMS Conference


The International Federation of Sports Medicine (FIMS) presented the XXXI World Sports Medicine Congress on 18 – 22 May 2010 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  FIMS, as you probably know, is the major decision making body on sports medicine in the world and South Africa is privileged to be a member of FIMS via membership of SASMA.  The biennial meeting of the FIMS Council of Delegates where all member countries are represented, executive committee, and FIMS Commissions meetings also took place.  A new executive committee was elected during the Council of Delegates meeting, where Prof Fabio Pigozzi form Italy was elected President of FIMS, taking over from Prof Walter Frontera.  Prof Lyle Micheli from the USA was elected as Secretary General for the next term of office.

South Africa and SASMA’s representative on the Council of Delegates was Dr Louis Holtzhausen.  Prof Martin Schwellnus represented South Africa and Africa on the FIMS executive committee as vice-president.  Proff Demitri Constantinou (educational commission) and Wayne Derman (scientific commission) were the other official South African  delegates.  Prof Schwellnus is also Editor of the FIMS scientific journal, the International Sports Medicine Journal, which can be accessed free of charge by SASMA members via the SASMA website.

FIMS has a membership of 64 countries from all continents, which makes it a very influential body, having a strong voice in policy making, minimum requirements for sports medicine service, education, and development .  It functions via a system of continental associations.  In the African context, Dr A. Sentissi from Morocco was elected vice-president for Africa and President of the African Union of Sports Medicine for the next four years.  The other elected executive member for Africa is Dr Sayed Hussien Khashaba from Egypt.  We trust that these officials will lead us into an era of great growth in sports medicine in Africa.  The table has been laid with the 2010 Football World Cup, on which the African Union of FIMS can now build interest and expertise.

The operational leg of FIMS is consists of four commissions.  The scientific commission promotes research and presents policy statements on sports medicine-related topics and issues.  The educational committee oversees regular courses and conferences, as well as publication of books and other references on sports medicine.  The interfederal commission promotes communication and liaison between medical bodies of sports federations such as the IOC, FIFA, and others.  The development commission actively promotes international development of sports medicine.

The conference itself in Puerto Rico was relatively small compared to certain other international sports medicine conferences, with 500 attendees, including the official delegates and the executive.  It was, however, of a very high standard, with only the best international speakers invited to present papers.  South Africa is proud to have had Proff Martin Schwellnus and Wayne Derman on the program as invited speakers.

The next FIMS conference will take place in Rome, Italy in 2012.  The bid for the 2014 conference has been won by Quebec, Canada.

The biennial FIMS Conference is a great place to learn, but also to meet the real world leaders of sports and exercise medicine and to experience how the International Federation of Sports Medicine operates.

Louis Holtzhausen