The FIA’s inaugural Sport Conference Week saw over 200 delegates from over 70 countries gather at historic Goodwood House in the UK for three days of discussion, intense networking and productive collaboration.
Opening on the broadest of themes, the first major conference session featured a diverse panel of experts debating the main challenges facing motor sport in the coming decade, with the consensus being that in future motor sport must attempt to become more socially relevant, embracing concepts of sustainability, while at the same time striving to retain the emotional impact only motor sport can deliver.
Day Two began with a wide-ranging discussion on building successful ASNs, which coincided with the presentation of a draft version of the FIA’s new ASN Development Manual, a comprehensive ‘how to’ guide for sporting organisations around the world.
The early morning discussion then gave way to a session centred on how sports organisations can encourage motor sport participation. With contributions from as far afield as Spain, Singapore, Botswana and Australia, the discussion revealed the vastly different challenges facing ASNs around the world, from how best to progress drivers from junior level to F1 to the very basic need for proper karting facilities in some countries.
The final day featured major presentations on motor sport safety and sustainability. The first showed how research into new safety technologies for Formula One were being fed down the motor sport ladder by the FIA, making safety available to all at an affordable level.
The session on Sustainability in Motor Sport then saw FIA Deputy President Graham Stoker launch the FIA’s new Action for Environment campaign by which the Federation hopes member clubs can help make motor sport an environmental best practice standard-bearer within the next decade.
The day’s closing speeches also saw FIA President Jean Todt launch a major new initiative, the Motor Sport Development Task Force. The 10-year project to define the future of motor sport globally will be headed by FIA Vice President Mohamed Ben Sulayem.
While the sessions, and the workshops that followed, were intensely busy, the social side of motor sport life wasn’t neglected. An opening day cocktail evening on the lawns behind Goodwood House featured a fly-past by a WWII Spitfire fighter plane, while the following day’s Gala Dinner saw the President Todt present Goodwood’s Lord March with a special Action for Road Safety racing helmet.
On the final evening, delegates bade farewell to the conference venue with a barbecue celebration at Goodwood’s history motor racing circuit. They were joined by members of the World Motor Sport Council which met at Goodwood House the following morning.
In his closing address, FIA President Jean Todt said he had been enormously satisfied with the outcome of the conference and by the enthusiasm of all the delegates who attended.
“To have over 200 delegates for the first conference and with 70 countries represented is a great start,” he said. “I hope that this first event will become a tradition now, alongside Mobility Week.”
Please find below the Daily Newsletters published during the event: