Monticello, Minnesota USA, October 1, 2009 – The International Federation of Sleddog Sports (IFSS) met in Oslo Norway, 17-20 September, to develop its focus for the next few years. Part of the time was devoted to presentations and discussions regarding the 2011 IFSS World Championships (WCh) to take place in Norway. The Norwegian Sled Dog Federation (Norges Hundejörerforbund – NHF) hosted the event and provided the meeting site and lodging at the Olympia Toppen Sportshotell. Council members were also treated to a traditional Saami dinner, complete with the Scandinavian traditional drink, glögg, on Saturday and a tour of Oslo’s Holemkollen Ski Center, the site of many of the 2011 WCh events. Holmenkollen is current;ly undertgoing expansion and renovations but will be fully functional by 2011.Between partaking of Scandinavian traditions and the awesome views from Holmenkollen, however, the Council got down to the serious business of charting a course for IFSS. The major discussions centered around the unification talks taking place between the major international sled dog organizations and the development of the sport in the various worldwide regions represented in IFSS.Unification talks touched on a possible name change, i.e. International Federation of Canine Sports, and the upcoming talks between major players. IFSS President Bengt Pontén will be meeting with ESDRA (European Sled Dog Racing Association) President Lars Svanfeldt and ISDRA (International Sled Dog racing Association) Executive Director Dave Steele in Kiruna, Sweden, the weekend of 2-4 October. Massimo Bassan of Italy, president of FIMSS (Federazione Italianna Musher e Sleddog Sport) anticipates opening up talks with a FISTC (Federation Internationale Sportive de Traineau a Chiens) representative in November.Although many regions have a well-developed sled dog tradition, al regions expressed a desire for improvement in this area. Regions especially hard hit by the recent economic downturn are the most in need of support from IFSS. Other regions, such as South America, can be especially proud of the development that has taken place despite many obstacles. Norway’s Arild Eidsvold suggested that the Scandinavian countries should focus not on receiving support but on giving their support and expertise to the less experienced countries … exporting rather than importing knowledge. In each region, however, there are accomplishments as well as challenges. It was generally agreed that development in most regions begins with the Nordic purebreds, a fact that could be capitalized on. The task of the working group on development is to generate a “Development Support Package” for prospective and existing IFSS members. Especially important is the transition or process from Provisional IFSS Member to Voting Member.Other discussions involved doping control and chipping. IFSS Doping Control chairperson, Carin Ahlstadt, was conducting a training session on WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) canine testing procedures across the hall from the IFSS Council meeting. She and a small group of attendees briefed the Council on doping control regulations that would be in effect for the 2011 World Championships in Norway, i.e. all dogs would have to be chipped prior to arrival in Norway.Media and website issues occupied discussion. IFSS is anticipating a redesign of its website to include more features and interactivity and a more updated look. Soon it will be soliciting bids from web designers for such a project. IFSS must first develop its criteria for what it needs and wants in a website.IFSS Treasurer Laura Gloor reported to Council on the status of the financials. She also advised on the new USA tax law going into effect that specifically mandates that 50% of income be devoted to projects and programs. Member fees were examined and suggestions made to revise some of the membership fees. Darren Watson volunteered to be the chairperson of the Membership Committee.Sally O’Sullivan BairSecretary GeneralInternational Federation of Sleddog Sports (IFSS)8554 Gateway CircleMonticello, MN 55362 USATel: +763 295 5465Fax: +763 295 3290Email: sbair@tds.net


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