Scolaris, Gawrych Re-Elected as IFSC President, Secretary General

Marco Scolaris and Debra Gawrych
Marco Scolaris and Debra Gawrych at the virtual IFSC XVII General Assembly. (Image by the IFSC)

The XVII General Assembly of the International Federation of Sport Climbing (IFSC) took place last weekend, from April 23-25. As in 2020, the annual gathering of competition climbing’s international governing body was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the election of its Executive Board members was a primary focus of the proceedings. And Marco Scolaris, IFSC President, and Debra Gawrych, IFSC Secretary General, were among the Board members to be re-elected to their positions.

Gawrych has been influencing the development of comp climbing, in the USA or abroad, for over 24 years. Before the existence of USA Climbing, Gawrych helped lead the Junior Competition Climbing Association (JCCA) in 1997 when the organization broke off from the American Sport Climbers Federation (ASCF). In 2003, after the evolution of the JCCA into the United States Competition Climbing Association (USCCA) and its merger with the ASCF, Gawrych became the founder and first President of USA Climbing (2003-2006) when the USCCA rebranded to today’s name―with the objective of Olympic inclusion in mind.

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Internationally, Gawrych was a member of the IFSC’s Management Committee at its founding and was elected to the IFSC Executive Board in 2009. At the Assembly in 2013, Gawrych was elected as Secretary General and has held the position ever since.

“My goals are to do everything in my power to give our organization the solid foundations it deserves,” said Gawrych after her re-election last weekend. Elections occur every four years, and the previous election for these positions was held in Quebec City in 2017.

Marco Scolaris, President of the IFSC since its founding in 2007, was also re-elected last weekend for another four-year term. Scolaris will continue to lead the IFSC into its first Olympic Games this summer in Tokyo and second Olympic Games at Paris 2024.

“Many of our accomplishments have been obtained thanks to the support of a great team of Board Members and staff,” said Scolaris. “Now that we have secured our place at two editions of the Olympic Games, it is time to also start working on ensuring that Sport Climbing is included at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Los Angeles 2028 and beyond.”

Following its approval last weekend, next year’s IFSC General Assembly is scheduled to take place in the United States in Salt Lake City, home of USA Climbing.

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