AR Countries Working Group Statement on Ian Adamson Meetings this Weekend

Press Release / 11.03.2023

(Ed; This press release was published as it was received and it was sent as a response to a meeting communicated through a World Obstacle email address.  However, Ian Adamson said at the first meeting today that he was hosting the meeting personally and not in his capacity as World Obstacle President.  The title has been edited to reflect this.)

The debate and argument on Adventure Racing organisation and governance continues and since the meeting called by World Obstacle on Feb 18th to try and codify their claim of adventure racing as a sub-sport in 2022, there have been some significant developments. 

As previously reported a collective of grass roots AR associations and federations has come together to give adventure racing a voice and discuss the issues. The group now called 'Adventure Racing Countries' and comprising representatives from 20 AR countries, has held meetings and agreed a way forward, setting out the options clearly, and a process to consult with adventure racers around the world.

For the initial announcement by the group see;

The consultations are going on now and while that is taking place the FISO President Ian Adamson has scheduled another meeting (today and tomorrow) which, like the first, has not been well communicated to the wider adventure racing community. (Details of how to join are below.)

When they found out about the new meeting, the AR Countries Group issued the following statement yesterday to set out the process they are following and the options being considered and to make it clear they stand by that process, "Regardless of meetings scheduled or any actions taken by World Obstacle / FISO."


We are aware of World Obstacle / FISO meetings under the banner of ‘adventure racing’ that are scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday 11 March) and Sunday 12 March.

At the World Obstacle meeting on 18 February, the countries decided that World Obstacle should halt the formation of an Adventure Racing technical committee - an item on the meeting agenda, until the countries had collectively decided on the way forward for their sport.

At this meeting, World Obstacle also affirmed that the Adventure Racing community can decide their direction. From the World Obstacle meeting (18 February 2023) notes:

Pg 3.  6.  c) IA informed the meeting that FISO has agreed to bring the sport of adventure racing under its umbrella as a recognised international federation, but it is up to the adventure racing community internationally to agree and come on board with this. 

6. d) It was pointed out that FISO did not wish to “take -over” the sport of adventure racing.

Pg 4. 7A Key Points

FISO’s position is that only the Adventure Racing community can govern itself, free from commercial and vested interests. Whether or not the community decides to work with FISO, it will support the decision unconditionally. 

Pg 8. International Federation structural options

f) iv. Predatory IF: In some circumstances a recognized IF “takes” a sport without seeking consensus from the sports community. In these cases, the sport either dies (Aerobics) or the community doesn’t support the IF and divisions are formed (Parkour). Either way, the outcome rarely benefits the community or the sport. FISO will not do this. 

Pg 12. Q&A

FISO: AR can stand up its own international federation if it chooses. Only AR can decide for itself how to organize, and which governance structure is best.

Out of this meeting, a working group was formed. The aim of the AR Countries Working Group is to reach out to all those countries participating in Adventure Racing to notify them of the situation and to allow them the opportunity to speak to their community and to be part of the decision around the direction for the sport.

On 24 February, the AR Countries Working Group sent an email to World Obstacle President Ian Adamson to say that there was no need for him to schedule the next World Obstacle meeting for 11 March as the working group would be hosting meetings with countries, independent of World Obstacle. This email was received and acknowledged.

The AR Countries Working Group hosted Information Sessions on 2 and 4 March to present the options available to the sport of Adventure Racing. Countries were then tasked with speaking to their communities, reaching a decision and submitting their response to the Working Group through an online survey by 22 March. The responses would be compiled to send to World Obstacle in the week of 27 March. After this, World Obstacle could assess their next steps based on the decisions reached by the sport.

This timeline was communicated via email to Ian Adamson on 7 March.

This morning, we received a notice via a 3rd party that World Obstacle is hosting two follow-up meetings on Saturday, 11 March and Sunday 12 March. The topic of the meeting is to “explain sport structure, options, and benefits”.

Regardless of meetings scheduled or any actions taken by World Obstacle / FISO, we stand by our timeline and process of communicating directly with Adventure Racing countries and allowing time for countries to decide whether they want to form an independent Adventure Racing Association/Federation, join an existing Federation (World Obstacle or another) or to do nothing.

The World Obstacle / FISO Zoom meetings this weekend are open to any interested people. We encourage members of the adventure racing community globally to join in if you can,  listen to what is being said, ask questions and highlight that a consultation process is already happening, that needs to be respected.

The Zoom details are as follows:

When: AR Meeting 1 on 11 March at 17.00 CET

Meeting ID: 816 1210 3038

Passcode: 966483


When: AR Meeting 2 on 12 March at 03.00 CET

Meeting ID: 831 5746 4591

Passcode: 957036


AR Countries Working Group

Cormac MacDonnell (Ireland), Lars Bukkehave (Denmark), Damon de Boor (UK), Lisa de Speville (South Africa)

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