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100 years BDC - EXPO
21st E.D.S.O. Congress - 1st Future Deaf Youth Sport Leaders Forum in Mechelen
Wed 2 Nov 21st E.D.S.O. Congress - 1st Future Deaf Youth Sport Leaders Forum in Mechelen
Belgium, the B.D.C., had the honor of welcoming foreign delegations on the occasion of the 21st Congress of the E.D.S.O. organized in Mechelen from October 26 to 28, 2022. Belgium was represented by Bernadette Baelde, treasurer and Nicolas Rettmann, secretary.

On the first day, Wednesday October 26, a Workshop was organized around the future composition of the Board of Directors. There was a proposal on the table that reduced the number of positions to five, instead of eight in the current composition. This was discussed in detail during the Workshop. In the end, the current system was retained by vote with 23 votes against the new system and 21 votes for the new system and 2 abstentions. This opened up a certain perspective as to the presence of women on the board of E.D.S.O.

On the first official day of the congress, Thursday October 27, 2022, we had the honor of welcoming the new President of the I.C.S.D., Adam Kosa (HUN), and Mr. Jean-Michel Saive, President of the B.O.I.C.  J.-M. Saive officially opened the 21st E.D.S.O. with nice words to the B.D.C. and its 100th anniversary.

29 foreign nations responded to the call, i.e. 48 votes. Two new countries have joined, namely Albania and Montenegro.

At the request of a delegation regarding the presence of women in the future board, a vote was taken to add the item to the agenda for the 2nd day of the Congress. Alas, the majority of 2/3 was not reached.

Subsequently, the following sports: padel, triathlon and golf were included in the list of sports. As a result, a European Championship can now be officially organized for these sports. The fishing was not retained.

Subsequently, the amendments to the statutes submitted to the recent Extraordinary Congress held on April 9 in Bucharest (Romania) were approved. Electronic voting – introduced by the B.D.C. for the first time during a Congress, which made voting much more fluid – allowed delegations to vote quickly on the various points.

On the 2nd day of the Congress, the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) was signed between the representatives of the E.D.S.O. and D.C.L. (Defe Champions League). The quadrennial sports calendar (2022-2026) was unanimously approved. We would like to mention the special attention for the twelfth European Bowling Championships by B.D.C. Bowling which will be organized in 2024 (August) in Wemmel.

Then, Yohan Marcelino, the new collaborator for European projects, presented the projects of the E.D.S.O. for European projects (Erasmus+, etc.).

It was also discussed about the creation of a youth committee within the E.D.S.O. which would allow for more diversity on the committee.

We then proceed to the vote of the new candidates within the board for the new mandate (2022-26) with the result:

President: Iosif Stavrakakis (GRE) elected 34 votes in favor (16 against)

Vice-president: Gergely Tapolczai (HUN) elected 26 votes in favor in the 2nd round

Secretary: Anton Petric (SLO) elected 46 votes for (4 against)

Treasurer: Wim Heemskerk (NED) elected 37 votes in favor (12 see for N. Fearon (IRL))

Members: Norbert Hensen (GER) – Antonio De la Rosa del Pino (ESP) elected against Lorenzo Belardelli (ITA), Ota Pansky (CZE) and Niel Fearon (IRL) who were not elected.

The votes (i.e. a majority of 26 votes) resulted in the election of only 6 members out of 8.

We can hope for an opening of the E.D.S.O. on the presence of women on this new board, in order to guarantee a certain diversity and therefore equality. This was at the express request of some members of the delegation as well as young people who actively participated in the 1st Future Deaf Youth Sport Leaders Forum. Brilliantly led by our B.D.C. Board Member, Liisa Halonen, this Forum was organized from 25-28 October to reflect and discuss the future of deaf sport at European level. This initiative was enthusiastically welcomed by most European delegations and deserves to be followed!

Finally, the congress ended on a high note with a memorable banquet, organized as part of the centenary of the Belgian Deaf sport Committee, attended by 250 participants, adults and young people, from all over Europe. This took place in a magnificent setting in the center of Mechelen, the Salons Van Dyck.

Everyone will then have been able to return home with beautiful memories!
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