IFSC 10-year Anniversary: A decade of growth for sport climbing

Posted by Rob Adie on 27/01/2017
Shauna Coxsey competing - Photo: Heiko Wilhelm

For the past ten years, the IFSC has devoted itself to the development, regulation and promotion of Sport Climbing competitions around the world. So many athletes, National Federations, event organizers, officials, sponsors, media and fans have contributed to the successful growth of the organization and our sport.

Here are some of the signature events along the way:
 
2007: On January 27th in Frankfurt, Germany, 57 National Federations convene to found the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC), unanimously adopting the statutes, by-laws and regulations.
 
2010: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) gives definitive recognition to the IFSC, welcoming Sport Climbing to the Olympic Movement. The Burkina Faso project is also launched to promote climbing in Africa.
 
2011: Athletes from 11 countries compete at the first IFSC Paraclimbing World Championships in Arco, Italy, three years after the first IFSC Paraclimbing Cup in Moscow. A partnership with Peace and Sport is signed as well, using climbing as a tool to address social problems.
 
2012: For the first time, an IFSC event is broadcasted LIVE on television outside of the host nation (Austria) at the IFSC Climbing World Championships Paris 2012. Just prior, the Athlete Career Program is initiated to help athletes transition from sport to the professional field.
 
2013: Official IFSC charity Climbers Against Cancer (CAC) is founded by British climber John Ellison., bringing together the support and camaraderie of the climbing community to assist in raising cancer awareness and research funds.
 
2014: The IOC unanimously approves the progressive Olympic Agenda 2020 in its entirety which proposes additional events for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. It’s a call for Sport Climbing!
 
2016: Sport Climbing and four other sports are unanimously approved for Tokyo 2020 at the 129th IOC Session in Rio de Janeiro. Only months later, the IOC adds Sport Climbing and two other sports to the Youth Olympic Games Buenos Aires 2018 Sports Programme. Two Olympic Games inclusions in one year!
 
Key Figures
 In 2007, the IFSC distributed 1,158 athlete licenses, and last year over 2,177 athletes were given licenses to participate at IFSC events!
 In 2008, 72 National Federations (NFs) were members of the IFSC, and since then 15 more NFs from four continents have joined.
 In 2012, 19,000 spectators attended the IFSC World Championships in Paris, and even more fans were cheering there this year!
 In 2013, LIVE streams of IFSC events were viewed 218,185 times. That number more than doubled to 461,693 views last year! Highlights of our events, absent in early years, are now broadcasted in 130 countries as well!
 In 2016, over 4.7 million website pages were viewed, Facebook fans surpassed 60,000, and gross CAC donations approached $500,000.
 
Serving Athletes
Our work and the growth of Sport Climbing would not be possible without the dedication of the international athletes, who form the heart of our organization. To celebrate this occasion with them, we contacted past winners of the annual IFSC Climbing World Cup series to share their thoughts on the 10-Year Anniversary and our sport:
 
“My life wouldn’t be the same without competing! I travelled to so many different places, got to know interesting cultures and people and met a lot of my best friends on the circuit. Can’t stop, won’t stop!” – Jakob Schubert, Austria, 2011 and 2014 Lead, 2011-2013 Combined
 
I can’t believe how fast time is passing, and that I am already for more than ten years part of IFSC events! The IFSC gives me a warm, structured and equal environment, where I have been able to do work and challenge myself, do what I love, compete, share good moments and vibes with other competitors, and reach out for my dreams.” – Mina Markovic, Slovenia, 2011, 2012 and 2015 Lead, 2011-2013 Combined
 
For me, the way to win the World Cup was very long. 7 years since I participated, finally I won and even now I still remember the time clearly. I don’t participate in any of competition now, but spending my time to get the big goal of winning gave me a huge growth in my life. I would like to continue growing through climbing in the future.” - Sachi Amma, Japan, 2012 and 2013 Lead
 
Competition is part of my life. For 12 years, I have a routine to compete in the competition. Training, competition, off, training is repeated, and this routine is comfortable for me. I would like to evolve more in competition, so it’s going to be a long relationship with this routine.” – Akiyo Noguchi, Japan, 2009, 2010, 2014 and 2015 Bouldering, 2008, 2009 and 2014 Combined
 
IFSC has influenced me in so many positive ways. Thanks to all IFSC climbing events, I had the chance to meet the most amazing people from all over the world. Through the years of competing, I gained a lot of new and valuable experiences and shared a lot of unforgettable moments with my friends. IFSC events teach me how to be patient, persistent and always positive, even though it’s not always easy. I was part of the IFSC family since the age of 14, and I hope it remains so for a long time.” – Janja Garnbret, Slovenia, 2016 Lead + Combined
 
Climbing On
 
The first ten years are over, and all the IFSC is excited for the years ahead and committed to the next part of its climb. World up, keep climbing!
Over these ten years, we have grown dramatically in terms of popularity and exposure, and also in terms of the quality of our events. But I think that we are still strongly linked to our roots,” says IFSC President Marco Scolaris. “The sense of community is still very strong. We are all climbers, and climbing is for life.”


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Anonymous User
24/02/2017
What about Paraclimbing, this side of sport climbing seems to have been completely abandoned by the IFSC (and BMC). Able-bodied competitions were posted on the IFSC website back in October. We are now going into March and NO paraclimbing competitions. Even the BMC are not running a Paraclimbing World Cup with the World Cup Lead and Speed at Ratho in Sept.
Rob Adie(author comment)
24/02/2017
We have a full 4 event BMC paraclimbing series planned for 2017 and have proposed two Para World Cups to the IFSC (one in Edinburgh and one in Sheffield) - on the premise that all the IFSC para cups are made into a World Cup series. Also paraclimbing has just been recognised by the IPC - http://www.ifsc-climbing.org/index.php/news/item/876-the-ifsc-joins-the-ipc-family - so paraclimbing has certainly not been abandoned by the BMC.

Cheers

Rob
Anonymous User
16/03/2017
Any news on the BMC Proposal for a World Paraclimbing Cup Series in (2) below

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