What is the big picture of kettlebell sport and fitness organisations in the world? I wil try to make some sense of them but it’s not easy…
The big picture
I’m trying to sort out all the different kettlebell related international organisations. Just typing about them is a mess, so I decided to ”draw”.
This pic above is a simple version of the current international organisations. And by international I mean an organisation that operates somehow in several countries. There are several more fitness orgs and I’m not really sure if AKC should be in both fitness and GS?
It doesn’t help a bit that it’s quite hard to get info on the actual events of all these. Sure, all of them have websites but there’s no one view to see all the events of different orgs.
I didn’t list all the country organisations for two reasons: I don’t know all of them and they would not have fit on the pic. IKSA is mentioned separately because it’s a distinct entity, as it offers certifications and is not a country org. I’m not really sure if it should be under fitness or GS or both, and if it is a company or non-profit. Well, doesn’t really matter for this drawing.
So there’s at least one problem. There’s no way to quickly find out all the member orgs of the international GS federations and their contact info. I think of all these three, IUKL has the most up to date website, but it has parts that are very old. You can get in contact with IUKL and WKC people by email in english if you are not in a hurry.
Also, a second problem: Who to contact? Which is the actual governing body? They all say that they are but what makes an org more powerful than the other? They are all separate entities.
I have two wishes for the future of international GS: just one federation, with an up to date website of the activities. Maybe some day. It will take time for sure but I don’t think GS will go to the Olympics with several Governing Bodies 🙂
Also, below is a picture of the finnish Girevoy Sport ”scene”.
So, The Finnish Weightlifting Federation is the governing body of GS as a sport in Finland. Governing body means that they regulate the official rules, records and championships competitions. Under that federation there’s clubs and committees. All of these orgs are non-profit. I listed only things relative to kettlebells, so there’s only the three currently operating kettlebell clubs. Each club can arrange unofficial meets, but all need to apply for a permission from the federation if they want to arrange national championships for example. So far, meets have been organised in here by Finnish Kettlebell Association and Girevoy Sport Lieto.
The Finnish Kettlebell Association (where I’m at) also is the representative of the IUKL in Finland. This means that we can participate and vote in IUKL meetings and can compete in their competitions.
Also, there’s the kettlebell committee, which operates under the federation. They have members of the kettlebell clubs and the federations and their job is to work on the rules and other national kettlebell sport issues. Here’s the committee’s current members (in Finnish):
Thougths on the different orgs
So, why not join also IGSF and WKC? Well, being a member of an international federation costs money and it also requires you to actually take part in the meetings. Also, I’m not really sure if WKC and IGSF are active in working in western Europe, which is something that is interesting for the growth of the sport. So far, IUKL has been very open about us competing in their competitions, and we have received invitations from all of the orgs to compete. And, I also really wish that in the future there would be only one international federation, so maybe there’s no reason to join all of them.
Right now, in my view it looks like IUKL will ”win” the battle of Europe with IGSF, because they have so many new countries and very good old ones also. Of course, it all depends on open communications with all the countries, to really push the big competitions and the sport from the east to the west.
There’s also many kettlebell related companies in Finland, at least 5 that sell kettlebells and many others who also sell courses, workshops and private lessons. But, I’m not starting a drawing of those 🙂