Dear National Authorities, Presidents and Secretaries General, Dear Members of the Powerboating Community,
In face of the global impact the Coronavirus known as COVID-19 is having on individuals and communities worldwide as well as on the economy at national and global scale, I would like to inform you of the UIM’s response to counter related adversities to which the international Powerboating community is exposed in particular in these times.
During the past days and weeks, we have monitored the evolution of the epidemic very closely and have been in direct contact with many of you, offering our support and receiving the same with heartfelt gratitude. It goes without saying that the Powerboating sport, like many other Sports, has been tremendously affected by the outbreak, from all our usual operations to the calendar of competitions carefully prepared long in advance.
All around the world there is a very real and intense effort to stem the spreading of the virus, and in these critical times, we as the Governing Body, need to take the appropriate steps to ensure that every decision we make is one that prioritizes the health and safety of our athletes, officials, partners and staff.
From the onset of the outbreak, the UIM has put in place internal health and safety protocols aimed at ensuring the safety and well-being of our staff at the Headquarters, who in turn remain committed to continuing to service the needs of our Members and stakeholders. In line with the instructions decreed by the local authorities, they now all work from home, yet at reduced hours, considering the current suspension of international powerboating events worldwide. This situation also led to the suspension of the mandates of all external collaborators and consultants who used to support the UIM Office Team in specific tasks and I take the opportunity to thank them for their understanding for this measure. This said, a permanent presence in the office is maintained for practical reasons.
As regards institutional activities, I wish to inform you that we have decided to replace the traditional mid-term Commission meetings, scheduled to be held in Amsterdam on 3rd-5th April, by video conference sessions spread over the same dates. This step has been widely welcomed and the UIM Office will provide related details in due course to all those concerned. While we hope international powerboat racing activities will resume rather sooner than later in the year, the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) will at all times be our reference in this context and we shall strictly obey governmental instructions, in close consultation with the National Authorities and the local Organizers of the individual Events.
The UIM is not taking this matter lightly and we carry on our daily consultations and discussions to ensure that the necessary steps are being taken in view of resuming international powerboating activities. In the meantime, we ask you all to be diligent in maintaining a constant watch on the potential spread of COVID-19, and to ensure first and foremost the safety of yourself and those closest to you.
As we continue to navigate these uncharted waters, I thank you for your support, and for your commitment to our sport. We will continue to update you and share information of interest with you as it becomes available. All our communication channels remain open for you to share your thoughts, needs and wishes with us, and we will do our utmost to take them to a positive outcome.
Stay safe !
Dr. Raffaele Chiulli