Ten of the candidates for the Technical Committee will be chosen by Congress. One person has already been appointed by the Athletes’ Committee: – Kaisa Makarainen. The Finn, who retired from the sport in 2020, was announced as the successor to Henrik L’Abee-Lund two months ago.
For Makarainen, her priority and how she wants to approach her new role are quite clear:
“First of all, I have to be on the Technical Committee to represent what the Athletes’ Committee is thinking and their opinions on topics. I’m not in the Technical Committee for myself but for the whole biathlon family, specifically the active athletes.
As an active athlete, you don’t have so much time for this. But I think it’s a really good way that there is an athlete in the Technical Committee meetings, who have been recently active themselves and now they have more time for this kind of work but still have the close contact how it was in the World Cup and what the topics really meant for the athletes.”
Nevertheless, having been an active athlete until quite recently is an important asset, especially when representing your former peers.
“I have to follow the sport closely, take part in the Athletes' Committee meetings and discuss the main topics and bring the takeaways to the Technical Committee. Of course, sometimes things might be discussed in the meetings. But this Is where it is good that the person representing the Athletes’ Committee has close contact with the athletes.
I was really honoured when Clare Egan [Chair Athletes' Committee, reelected for a second term in Spring] asked me if I was interested in this position. It was really nice for me to hear that the athletes think that I could be the person who can represent the entire field. It’s totally a new world for me after my athlete career, so I hope I can do it well.”
One thing is also clear: Much like Clare Egan on the Executive Board, Makarainen will not be the only woman on the Technical Committee. As per the IBU’s Gender Equality Policy, there must be at least two male members and at least two female members among those elected to the Technical Committee (and Executive Board) during the Congress next month.
Prior to May 2022, only three out of 54 Technical Delegates in Biathlon were female. At the Technical Delegate (TD) exam in May 2022, a total of nine candidates passed the exam, six of them female. This increases the number of female TDs to nine – equivalent to 17% of all Technical Delegates. A minimum of 25% of all new Technical Delegates and IBU Referees shall be female until 2026 as per the IBU’s Gender Equality Strategy.
The IBU encourages the development of women in refereeing across all levels at National Federations and supports women participating in Technical Delegate and Refereeing Seminars.