10 May 2019

FAI showcases air sports at SportAccord 2019

The FAI once again represented the world of air sports at this year’s Exhibition of the SportAccord World Sport and Business Summit, which was held in Australia’s Gold Coast from 7-9 May.

Teaming up to share a booth as in 2018 was the FAI partner Red Bull Air Race. The FAI team who travelled to Australia included President Bob Henderson and Secretary General Susanne Schödel. On the Red Bull Air Race side, Australian pilot Matt Hall joined the booth and General Manager Erich Wolf was present to investigate a possible return of the series “down under”.

Grantley Reed from FAI partner Freespace Giant Drone Racing was also present to display their impressive giant drones, as well as the FAI Member Air Sport Australia Confederation, represented by its President Grahame Hill.

Bob Henderson commented: “Over 100 International Sports Federations visited SportAccord, as well as other bodies and key decisions-makers involved in the global sporting community. The FAI was proud to be able to showcase air sports and to help promote the positive development of sport to such an engaged and professional audience, together with our partner Red Bull Air Race. We met with many contacts, old and new, and successfully communicated the FAI’s many exciting activities to the delegates.”

The FAI delegation participated in a number of important meetings, among them the Annual General Meeting of the International World Games Association. “We are a proud member of IWGA and are looking forward to participate with our air sports in the next editions of the World Games, to be held in 2021 in Birmingham, USA and in 2025 in Chengdu, PRC”, commented Susanne Schödel.

A highlight of the sport industry’s calendar, SportAccord is the world’s largest networking event for sports federations, and the FAI took the opportunity to communicate news from the world of air sports, highlighting key events for 2019 including the FAI World Drone Racing Championships, the FAI World Air Games 2022 and of course the excitement of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

Erich Wolf noted: "Our goal for taking part in SportAccord was to heighten awareness of the Red Bull Air Race and explore the potential for bringing the World Championship back to Australia. So we were delighted to share a booth with the FAI, which enabled us to meet with high-level leaders and decision-makers from both the local and global sports industry, as well as to interact with media. In our view, the week was very successful, and our clear takeaway was that interest in our sport is high."

Matt Hall, who presented at the Speaker’s Corner stage, said: “It was great to be on the Gold Coast representing not only Red Bull Air Race, but also the FAI on a global stage at a major sporting summit. From my perspective, I was able to speak about the successes of the Red Bull Air Race from a pilot's perspective. A lot has changed since I first joined the series in 2009, and the series continues to move forward. Hopefully, we inspired other delegates and attendees with our sport, which is undoubtedly one of the most visually impressive and closely fought series on the planet."