The Aida International Board met via Skype on October 11,2014. The following is a summation of the topics discussed.
The Board reviewed AIDA’s financial status, as presented by Kimmo and Ben. It was noted again that the old PayPal account should no longer receive payments; instructors will be notified to send payments only to the new PayPal account. AIDA Nationals: when making payment to AIDA International by PayPal, please use only the following payment information: bank @ aidainternational.org.
The Board reviewed the 2014 AIDA Team World Championships, recently completed in Cagliari, Italy. The Board noted the exceptional work by the organizer—Ricky Mura and Blue World Apnea—to make the competition a success. The Board also thanked Judge Responsible Petar Bojovic (Jury President) and Sport Officer Ute Gessmann (Jury Vice President), for helping the competition run smoothly and successfully. The Board noted that not all athletes (especially those used to competing with other agencies) are familiar with AIDA Competition Rules; because of this, the Board plans to have important AIDA’s Rules reviewed at the start of future AIDA World Championships, so athletes from other agencies are familiar with them. AIDA held it’s first AIDA Judge continuing education course in Cagliari: presented by Sport Officer Ute Gessmann, Judge Responsible Petar Bojovic, Secretary Carla Hanson, Technical Officer Antero Joki, and Vice President Rob King. The response to this course was highly positive, and the Board plans to hold more of these courses in the future. AIDA paid for room and board for three assistant judges from other continents—Junko Kitahama (Japan), Gaby Contreras (Venezuela), and John Wright (New Zealand)—in order to allow judges from other continents to afford to travel to AIDA World Championships to Assistant Judge. Feedback on this program was also positive, and AIDA plans to continue assisting committed judges from other continents to gain experience needed for promotion.
As is now customary at AIDA World Championships, there was an Open Meeting, where athletes and others could voice their ideas to the Board. In addition, the Board reviewed the safety changes to the AIDA Competition Rules passed by the Assembly in July, and demonstrated AIDA’s web based Incident Reporting System (which will go live in January). Feedback on AIDA’s media coverage—including real time posting of results by Carla Hanson and photos and videos by Daan Verhoeven—was also highly positive. AIDA plans to continue and enhance media coverage of future AIDA World Championships.
Kimmo noted that the 2014 AIDA Officer Vote will begin in late November. Offices up for election this year are: Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Sport Officer. Candidates interested in running for any of these offices should send a CV to Kimmo Lahtinen (firstname.lastname@example.org) not later than 1 November 2014. Kimmo then said that seven Nationals had requested a special Assembly vote to void the recent Assembly vote on the Competition Rules update. As that number meets the minimum required to call a special Assembly vote, that vote will take place in early November. This means that the proposal to amend the Judge IOP (i) to permit judge promotion (the 2009 IOP prevents judge promotion to Level B or higher, by requiring World Record points which are impossible for most judges to obtain), and (ii) to allow easier reactivation for inactive judges, will be delayed until 2015. We apologize for this delay, and understand the need to fix the Judge IOP and AIDA’s judge promotion system.
Kimmo proposed a new process to update AIDA’s Competition Rules for 2015. Kimmo noted that the last time the Rules were updated‐in 2009‐ Board members voted in the Assembly (some with 2 or 3 votes); so the Board proposed Rules changes, and had the Assembly approve them. In 2010, Kimmo proposed changes to AIDA’s Statutes (adopted by the Assembly) that stopped Board members from voting in the Assembly. Since the Board no longer controls Assembly votes (since 2010), AIDA needs a new process for updating the Rules. Kimmo has been working with Chris Marshall (New Zealand), Pavlina Prochazkova (Czech Republic) and Jody Fisher (Australia) to pilot a new process, in which the Rules will be posted on an online document management tool: Google Docs. Each National will be able to comment on the Rules: items it wants changed, deleted or added. A smaller group of representatives, led by Technical Officer Antero Joki, will review comments, and work on items supported by a number of Nationals. Rules updates would be smaller but more regular: likely a small number of changes voted on each year, to become effective 1 January of the next year (with emergency changes still possible if needed). Kimmo will present the Assembly with more detail on this process in the coming weeks.
Kimmo, Per and Robert reported on progress on the AIDA Incident Reporting System. Robert demonstrated this system in Cagliari at both the AIDA Open Meeting and Continuing Education Course, and the reception was very positive. In response to comments from Nationals ,mostly regarding privacy and anonymity , several modifications will be made prior to rolling out this system on 1 January.
The Safety Proposal changes to the AIDA Competition Rules will take effect on 1 January. Dr. Per Westin and Dr. Kerry Hollowell will prepare guidelines for organizers and competition doctors, on how to evaluate the severity of squeezes (this was requested by several Nationals). Separately, Erika Schagatay has committed to have an initial draft of the study on chest squeezes and freediving ready by end of year; this study was funded in part by a contribution by AIDA International.
The Board voted to extend the current moratorium on AIDA International’s sanctioning of no‐limits World Record attempts; this moratorium will continue until the Board votes to end it. The Board continues to review safety concerns relating to this discipline for depths near or below current AIDA world records; as yet, AIDA has been unable to identify ways to ensure adequate safety for athletes at depths of the NLT world records.
AIDA International received four proposals to host the 2015 AIDA Pool World Championships, and three proposals to host the 2015 AIDA Depth World Championships. The number of proposals reflects strong interest in hosting AIDA World Championships, and the health of competitive freediving generally.
These proposals are currently with the Assembly for vote; the voting deadline is 26 October. If you have not done so already, please commence your National’s review of these proposals. For the first time, AIDA International has posted the proposals on its Facebook page. This should give more athletes access to the proposals before Nationals conclude the voting.
Kimmo reported on a new Assembly web tool, which allows members to update their contact information online: similar to functionalities in the EOS and JOS systems. All National representatives are urged to log-in on the new tool to update their contact information, logos, websites, etc Dues payment can also be made with this tool. Kimmo also reported that the AIDA has started using a new email system, Wiggio, to replace the Yahoo Groups service: the Yahoo email service has been experiencing significant issues (including dropping members, and not delivering messages and/or attachments). This project is aimed at implementing a new service to solve those issues, and at better integrating Member data with the current AIDA web-‐ based tools (EOS, CARS and JOS). Note: If you are not receiving emails from or are unable to send them to the Assembly group list, please contact AIDA Secretary Carla Hanson (email@example.com) so we can keep you copied until the new system is implemented. The current plan is to use both the Yahoo Groups and Wiggio services in parallel until 31 December, and then discontinue use of Yahoo Groups on 1 January 2015 (if the Wiggio service is performing as planned).
As you may have noticed, we are still looking into how to format Wiggio messages for easier reading, and to attach (or post) files more easily. If you have suggestion, concerns or comments on the Wiggio system, please send them to us as soon as possible (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Board voted to approve the following instructors as AIDA Instructor Trainers:
- Walid Boudhiaf (Honduras)
- Doris Hovermann (Germany)
- Andreas Pap (Germany)
- Goran Čolak (Croatia)
Jean‐Pol noted that, as is the policy for all new Instructor Trainers, these new ITs will have a six‐month review period, to ensure that they actively teach AIDA Instructor courses. The appointment of these Instructor Trainers reflects AIDA’s ongoing commitment to having an AIDA Instructor Trainer in or near every AIDA country. All AIDA countries need easy access to AIDA Instructor Trainers, as they do to senior judges and Judge Instructors.
The Board has received a number of requests to support the creation of AIDA Freedive Centers: dive centers that offer AIDA courses and other freediving services. This is similar to dive centers supported by a number of other agencies. The Board agrees that starting AIDA Freediving Centers is important to developing the sport of freediving, and will make this program a goal for 2015.
In recognition of the significant amount of work he is doing to support Judge Responsible Petar Bojovic, the Board voted to appoint Vlajic Milorad Milo as “IT Specialist and Assistant to Judge Responsible”.
If you would like further information on these or other topics, please do not hesitate to contact Kimmo, Robert, or any other Board.