Youth and the future, the focus of the second day of the Hosts an Federations Summit
Yeray Vergara
June 20, 2024

The second day of the Hosts and Federations Summit was opened by Kelly Fairweather, CEO of the International Tennis Federation. Fairweather highlighted tennis as one of three sports with more than a billion followers and going forward the federation is allying itself with other sectors such as data and streaming.

Laurent Petrynka (pictured in the article) president of the International School Sport Federation discussed the power of children in sport. The organization moved to Lausanne earlier this year to join the ecosystem of sports federations in the area.

Speaking about data in a panel discussion were Annalisa Checci, legal director of Foot Antsy LLp, Mark Cronston, president of the International Touch Federation, Aditya Aditya, head of media business strategy at the IOC, and Sophy Coombes-Roberts, principal consultant at Two Circles. The roundtable noted that institutions need to know not only how many amateur stories there are, but also who they are.

Another round table was the Orange Sport Forum, where they talked about the improvement of the supply chain and the promotion of its institution in the world of sport. WOO architects, an organization specializing in sporting events around the world, also spoke about their ability to create unique experiences for each event.

On the expenses and logistics of sport events, James Tibbetts from Trivandi, Anh Nguyen from Wiz Team and Anja Schweickert from DB Schenker spoke at a round table, discussing the use of data and knowledge for various events, saving money and time for the host city and the organization.


The second part of the day focused more on upcoming sporting events, which are unique opportunities for cities and suppliers.

Franco Morelli, Director of VIK & Business Integration for Milan Cortina 2026, presented the preparations already underway for the upcoming Winter Olympic Games to be held in Milan and Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. The vision of Milan Cortina 2026 is to celebrate Olympic and Paralympic values with the energy of contemporary Italian culture and its unique spirit, working to create a healthier and more sustainable future.

Milan Cortina 2026 is expected to be the most environmentally friendly Winter Olympic Games in history. Milan Cortina is also expected to be the most gender-balanced Winter Olympics in history, Morelli said, with 47% of participating athletes being women.

Joel Lavery, Strategic Director of Major Sporting Events, says Birmingham and the West Midlands are not only the heart of the UK, but also the heart of sport, and speaks of his extraordinary experience in organizing some of the world’s biggest events. Lavery says his aim is to enhance the status of Birmingham and the West Midlands as a global venue for major sporting and business events around the world. Lavery introduced attendees to his upcoming FISE event, scheduled for September, which will serve as a venue for urban sports athletes to compete. Participants can film their talent on social media to become part of the e-FISE series and earn the opportunity to compete in the physical event in September. Lavery expressed that their goal is to continue to invest in urban sports and esports, trying to innovate and target audiences in esports that they believe will be long-term fans.

After Laverys’ insightful presentation on the planning and future execution of major sporting events, and the importance of urban sport in today’s world, the conversation shifted to the importance of equivalency in Para-sport.

“You have to have a strategic approach within sport for it to be accepted and opportunistic,” said Richard Walmsley, head of Sport Federations Miller Insurance. Walmsley spoke of the challenges involved in striving for equivalency for Para-sport.

Walsey led a panel comprised of Nithi Suppiah, Partnerships, Marketing and Marketing Communications at Virtus Sport; Todd Fraser, Paracycling Coordinator at the International Cycling Union; and Olof Hansson, Director of Para Taekwondo at World Taekwondo. They outlined both the obstacles and opportunities involved in trying to improve resources, access and support for para-sport athletes and the fight for equality across all sports.


Along with the incredible growth of para-sports, another world of sport is also growing. Obstacle racing includes ninja competitions, obstacle courses, adventure racing, fitness racing and are in the process of adding calisthenics to their impressive list. It is a rapidly expanding sport that aspires to become an Olympic competition in the near future.

One of the last presentations of the afternoon came from Stefano Manelli, Director of CITEC, who presented a vendor case study on the importance of transportation planning and operations. Manelli shared how CITEC’s systems and solutions provided financial solutions and operational efficiencies for the 2023 Ryder Cup.

The Summit aims to build bridges between host cities, rights holders and federations in order to foster mutually beneficial collaborations and exchanges between the three parties. By the end of the second day, the Host Cities and Federations Summit has led to important discussions and provided attendees with the opportunity to take advantage of countless opportunities.

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