Risk Management Conference Summary on Sporting Equipment and International Sport Governing Bodies

On Thursday the 14th of March, AISTS along with Marsh, Kessler and AXA XL, held their annual conference on risk management for an audience of 50 guests. 

The evenings’ topic this year focused on sports equipment and the regulations surrounding them. The various issues that accompany this including health and injuries, athlete performance as well as spectator experience were all discussed with a focus on international federations in regard to their equipment homologation processes.   

Professor Jan-Anders Månsson, AISTS Scientific Advisor and Professor of Materials and Chemical Engineering at Purdue University in the USA was the keynote speaker for the evening and presented on the importance of the topic of sports equipment, the different type of risks, a review of risks in sport and the rules in relation to risk management for equipment design.  Professor Månsson commented on the two major aspects which he believes are currently growing in potential in the sports technology world, and are nano-technology and 3D printing. The later allows for a huge range of personalised production that is very simple to obtain.  He stated that the common goals for all stakeholders involved in sports equipment development, manufacturing and regulations, must be attractiveness, development, fair play and safety.

Professor Jan-Anders Månsson

Mr Jean-Pierre Morand, attorney at law and partner at Kellerhals Carrard, focused on the legal framework in regard to competition equipment from two different perspectives – the manufacturing side and the regulating bodies side.  He spoke about the controversy of equipment regulation in terms of “correcting natural human differences” and further elaborated with examples such as the evolution of swimsuit, and the changes of the size of the skis over the years.  Mr Morand stated that innovation is usually a trigger to establish or evolve rules, these rules, however, need to keep in mind a correct balance between the tradition of the sport and innovation, while ensuring safety for all. 

Mr Jean-Pierre Morand

The evening was then followed by presentations from Mr Thomas Guesde who is responsible for Global Sports and Events International Practice at Marsh and addressed the risk challenges for International Federations in the field of insurances. This included discussions on concussions and contact sports and the respective responsible parties, the response of sports governing bodies to address risks, and the need for cooperation between similarly affected bodies. He concluded investigating the rise of wearables as an asset or liability.

Mr Thomas Guesde

Mr Thomas Dettwiler from AXA XL who is an Underwriting Manager for Corporate and Commercials spoke alongside with his colleague, Mr Kristian Ives, also and Underwriting Managers from AXA XL based in London, presenting the general liability offerings of AXA XL worldwide, as a potential partner for governing bodies, event organiser, venue and facilities companies, and athletes themselves, by bringing in as an example, the unknown impact of nanotechnology in sport equipment.

Mr Thomas Dettwiler

The evening was concluded with an open question and answer session with the panel of speakers. 

Panel Q & A  to finish the conference

More photos of the evening are available on our Flickr account here.  


About AISTS

The AISTS (International Academy of Sports Science and Technology) was founded in 2000 by the IOC and leading Swiss universities. A not-for-profit foundation, the AISTS is committed to professionalising sports management through continuing education, applied research and an engaging platform for industry connections. It is through this combination of research and educational activities, which provides the AISTS with a unique position to connect the world of academia with the sport industry.

About KESSLER

KESSLER is the leading Swiss company in the fields of risk management, insurance and pension fund consulting. They offer clients customised risk analyses, modern risk financing concepts and optimised insurance solutions. Based in Switzerland, Kessler manages one third of the 500 largest Swiss companies from the services sector, trade, industry, and the public sector.

About MARSH

MARSH is a global leader in insurance broking and risk management. In more than 130 countries, Marsh helps clients to anticipate, quantify, and more fully understand the range of risks they face. Marsh works with clients of all sizes to define, design, and deliver innovative solutions to better measure and manage risk. 

About AXA XL 

AXA XL is the P&C and Specialty Risk Division of AXA. They are known for solving complex risks for mid-sized companies, multinationals and even some inspirational individuals.  AXA XL offer top client services across property, casualty, professional and financial lines, and specialty. 

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AISTS Founders