May 21 - Carlos Freitag has said one of his main aims is to make the Association of IOC Recognised International Sports Federations (ARISF) "more important" if he is elected President of the organisation in less than a week.
Speaking exclusively to insidethegames, Freitag (pictured top), who is also President of the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF) and currently an ARISF vice-president, claimed that while incumbent of eight years Jan Fransoo - President of the International Korfball Federation (IKF) and a SportAccord council seat holder - has done much good work for the organisation, which represents International Olympic Committee recognised international sports federations, there is still more to be done to help its 32 members.
"When Jan told me that he would not continue [as President] I thought it could be a good opportunity to do something for ARISF," said Freitag, who claimed it was Fransoo who actually asked him to run for Presidency.
"There are a lot of things we have to improve inside ARISF.
"Even if Jan has done very good work and has very very good connections to SportAccord, the IOC (International Olympic Committee) and International World Games Association (IWGA), and all the others, I would like to continue with the relations but also try to improve them for the future because there are some things we can do to help the other ARISF members to make their life a little bit easier.
"I have presented my candidature because I would like to continue the work Jan started some years ago, which I think is very positive.
"I will do my best and work very hard for the ARISF members for the next four years [if elected]."
Perhaps his most critical goal is to raise awareness of ARISF in the global sport movement and build on the relationships the organisation has already forged with the likes of SportAccord and the IOC if he replaces Fransoo.
"As President [of ARISF] I will try to do whatever possible to get some help from SportAccord and the IOC to make the life of the members a little bit easier," he promised.
"The most important thing is to have a close relations to SportAccord and the IOC because at this moment ARISF exists as a federation but I think it is not considered a very important federation.
"At SportAccord meetings very seldom do you see the name of ARISF somewhere.
"Mostly you can see the IOC, the winter sports, the summer sports but you never see ARISF as a federation as something important inside a SportAccord meeting.
"And this is one thing that I would like to improve."
Freitag also cites the IWGA, organiser of the quadrennial multisport World Games, as another potential key ally in developing ARISF and suggests he would like to see a "common games" for the two bodies.
"I think we have to work more closely with the IWGA," he told insidethegames.
"They have their games but why not try to do together with the IWGA a common games for ARISF and IWGA.
"Not think about independent games for ARISF – this is too expensive.
"We have to try to unify our forces with other federations so we can be stronger."
Legal assistance for ARISF's member federations, athlete representation and an updated website are among the other items on Freitag's election manifesto, alongside anti-doping.
"Another important thing is anti-doping," he said.
"We have big problems with anti-doping – it costs a lot of money.
"Why not try to form a special commission with a chair for anti-doping also through SportAccord or the IOC, which can help all our small federations on this important issue and also to make it a little bit easier for us to achieve our certification of anti-doping orders."
Freitag is up against International Powerboating Union (UIM) President Raffaele Chiulli for the top post at ARISF but he insists there is no bad blood between the two rivals and claimed he would support Chiulli if he were elected.
"I have a good relationship with the other candidate for Presidency," he said.
"We are good friends and if he is elected of course I will serve him for sure.
"And if I am elected I hope he will support me.
"We are not enemies we are friends."
The new ARISF President will be elected next Monday (May 27) during its Annual General Meeting, which is being held in conjunction with the SportAccord International Convention in St Petersburg.
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