|Bruno Grandi- President, FIG|
|Profile of the week|
Thursday, 02 August 2012 10:57
Bruno Grandi is the President of the Federation Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) and has been since he was elected in 1996.
Bruno has played a prominent part in gymnastics since 1977, when he became the President of the Italian Gymnastics Federation. He held this role until 2000 and in that time was also the Vice President of the European Gymnastics Union (UEG) between 1982 and 1989. Bruno was the Vice President of the FIG between 1988 and 1992.
The Italian has also been heavily involved in the Olympics. Between 2000 and 2004, Bruno was a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), before becoming a member of the IOC Sports for All commission in 2005 and a member of the 2009 Olympic Congress Commission.
A keen sportsman, Bruno was a member of the Italian Artistic Gymnastics Junior Team in his youth, before becoming coach of the National Junior Team. Bruno has also been the National Director for the Technical Education of the coaches and the National Director of the Men’s Team between 1969 and 1977.
Bruno was awarded the Gold Ribbon of Italian Sports Merit on February 12, 2004 by the President of the Italian Republic, Mr Carlo Azelio Ciampi. He has also published a number of books including Didactics and Methodology in Artistic Gymnastics (1980), Theory and Methodology of Training in Sports (1985) and Grande Encyclopedia dei Giochi Olimpici.
Bruno, who was born in Forli, is married with three children.
What are your responsibilities as President of the FIG?
I have many responsibilities. One in particular, however, has attracted my attention since the day I became involved in gymnastics years ago and that is the health of our gymnasts. They are our greatest asset. Both throughout their education, training and in competition, our gymnasts need support, supervision and counsel. It is my responsibility to ensure that educators and coaches alike are properly equipped to guide an athlete throughout his education and oversee that his growth and progression stages are respected.
For over two decades I fought to increase the minimum age limit in gymnastics based on fact and observation. You will remember that in our star discipline’s description there is the word artistic. Watch a sixteen year old gymnast in a floor exercise and then watch a nineteen year old; you’ll see what I mean. An athlete develops his artistic touch over years of practice, the expression only time can teach.
I hold yet another topic dear to my heart and that is sport justice. I continue to fight against the ignorance that is dishonesty in judging. Cheating is a service to no one, especially the gymnastics we are trying to protect; to the contrary, dishonesty ruins our sport and severs the branch on which the cheater is seated. One would have to be a fool not to understand that.
How has your experiences partaking in the sport helped in your presidential role?
I myself was a gymnast, coach, team captain, international judge and leader of a National Olympic Committee, national federation and international federation. I know what I’m talking about.
What successful changes have you brought to the FIG since taking over?
As said before and on a technical level, the age limit for gymnasts.
Politically speaking, let me mention two decisions: the creation of the FIG Council in 2000, a decision taken by the General Assembly on my recommendation. We needed to equip the FIG with a swift and flexible decision-making tool capable of reacting to fluctuation and change. The Parliament, as I call it, has been functioning since 2001, and each May the forty-four members are given an opportunity to modify regulations, attribute events and take decisions relative to current affairs.
There are also the FIG Academies, created in 2002 in Kuala Lumpur. I had wanted to set up an educational programme for our coaches that would provide them with knowledge and authority based on concrete experience. After having followed a curriculum, coaches receive a brevet testifying to a quality education and passage of the examinations. If you entrust your child into the care of a gymnastics coach, you had better be sure that he is competent. It’s the least you can do.
You served as President for the Italian Gymnastics Federation for just over two decades. How different is your new role to this previous position?
Though the federation is bigger and the number of members more substantial, my objectives have always been the same.
What marketing campaigns do you undertake in order to break new countries?
Developmental aid, education, solidarity. These are the best ways to attract new federations to the gymnastics family. Every year we disburse substantial funds to assist the Continental Unions who are responsible for educational programmes within their own borders. We deploy experts for workshops; we foster awareness in wealthier countries in an effort to reduce the gap that separates them with those developing. Universality is one of the reasons why our sport stands the test of time.