Footbag

Published on July 13th, 2020 | by Daniel Boyle

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Daniel Boyle Running for Executive Director of IFPA

Daniel Boyle will run to be Executive Director of the International Footbag Players’ Association (IFPA).

I will be running for the position of Executive Director on the IFPA board. I am currently the Education Director.

I will be placing my plan for election here.

Introduction

My name is Daniel Boyle, a footbag player from Australia. I started circle kicking at high school in the late 90s. I competed in consecutive kicks at the first Australian Championships in 2001 and have played since then. I have competed at Worlds in Berlin, Oakland and Copenhagen, as well as this year’s online event.

I am currently Education Director of the IFPA. I am a PE teacher at a local primary school here in Canberra. I have degrees in Sports Management, Writing and Education. I have worked in tourism, journalism and education.

I have performed a number of demonstrations at various conferences, schools, sporting events and education events. I have also organised the Sport/Life European tour in 2014, involving top players promoting footbag throughout Europe in schools, sports expos and competitions. I have recently taken over the running of the Modified footbag forum.

Communication

Communication is an issue that has been brought up a number of times throughout the conversation in regards to the IFPA. Regardless of the results, we will return to publishing a Newsletter on the footbag.org website.

As has been mentioned, there is work being done to improve the footbag.org website, but this is a long term project. I plan on guiding that to continue, while making sure current information is available on footbag.org. The key to this project is not losing key information such as club profiles and player tournament history.

The current situation sees a small number of players spread across a range of platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Modified, Discord being the main ones, while there is some minimal presence of footbag community on Twitter and Reddit). Unfortunately I don’t see the possibility of a unified place as different people have preferences for their way of communicating.

The key will be that new IFPA information will be first published on footbag.org, then shared across platforms on a case by case basis.

Much of the recent communication in regards to the IFPA positions has been done with a vlog style, I believe that is another good option for monthly communication. This could be done by different members of the IFPA, to give updates on different parts of the organisation.

There also needs to be a mechanism for members to add suggestions and proposals. Serious proposals can be discussed at the regular meetings.

Accountability

In relation to these updates, I plan to hold quarterly meetings. This year most people around the world are getting used to online meetings as a part of life. These meetings would give an update on the different programs, sub committees, Worlds updates etc.

The meetings would be recorded and minutes kept on footbag.org.

A strategic plan would be created, with an annual report checking against those goals delivered each year. I believe October would be a good time to deliver this, which would allow the completion of Worlds and a review to be completed. The new host city of Worlds should also be announced by that time.

World Footbag Championships

Worlds is our pinnacle event. This year, due to the pandemic, we have had an online Worlds event. I believe this has been a great success – we have new players and competitors who have not been in action in some years.

The IFPA plans to hold Worlds in Colombia next year. All events remain to be seen due to the pandemic situation, however I am full supportive of Worlds in Colombia. I competed at the same venue in 2012 for the South American Championships and the facilities are excellent. There is also opportunity for promotion of the sport in the popular stadium area.

For future tournaments, the bid process should be completed ahead of the upcoming Worlds. The announcement could then be part of the official ceremonies at Worlds, this gives the next host a full year to prepare.

I also believe we can build on the success of the online tournament. There could be a major online tournament run by the IFPA each year. It also gives players further opportunity to train their tournament specific skills. There could also be opportunity to hold regional championships through the online format.

Working With Clubs and National Bodies

Footbag across the globe has a range of different situations. In some countries, there are registered national sporting bodies receiving government funding for sports. In other areas, there are only individual players or loose groups meeting occasionally.

As the IFPA, we can assist clubs take the next step. It might be a university club trying to get funding from the university, a group of people meeting regularly wanting to become an official club, or groups across a country wanting to make a national body.

We should encourage national championships, once again as a way of players working on the skills and competing under pressure. For many people, Worlds may be their only competitive event.

These matters are up to the individual clubs and national associations, however the IFPA can give advice on success that has been had by other organisations. The needs and requirements for each city and country will also differ.

Collaboration with other foot sports

There have been various levels of collaboration with sports such as freestyle football and sepak takraw around the world. Many footbag players are also training these other similar foot skills.

Events such as the Footbag vs Freestyle Football night at the 2019 World Championships are to be commended and I believe we can build on that. Personally, I regularly give demonstrations at freestyle football tournaments here in Australia. We can try to make this a more regular thing across the world.

New Players

A struggle in recent years has been attracting new players and getting from the circle kicking stage to become a footbag player. We need to increase the presence of footbag (of any kind, including circle kicking, consecutives, net) in the outside areas.

Once again, these matters are up to individual clubs, but the IFPA can highlight successes of clubs around the world. This may be appearing at music festivals for example Footbag Denmark used to have regular events as part of the Roskilde music festival.

We also need to have opportunities such as consecutive kicks, mini net, footbag golf surrounding the event. These events should be free to compete in and encourage people to join. They should be in public areas and encourage people to join the local club in further sessions, as well as watching the tournament itself.

Education

I am the current Education Director of the IFPA. I am currently preparing an online accreditation course so players that wish to go to schools can be officially accredited by the international body. In this pandemic affected year, I have learned a number of skills in regards to online learning, so plan to build on that.

 

Once the accreditation course is completed, I plan to create something that teachers can use in their own class to build on footbag.

Please feel free to contact me for any questions you have. You can email boyle@footbag.org.


About the Author

Founder of @sportslashlife. Australian living in Chile. Freestyle footbag player and passionate sports fan.



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