Dear member country representatives,
Dear friends of Wheel Gymnastics,
Dear respected colleagues,
My international career as a Wheel Gymnastics athlete started 2005 in Bütgenbach (Belgium), where I competed as part of the German junior national team. It has been an incredible journey since then and I have made lots of new friends and unforgettable experiences, which I will never forget. However, the time has come for new endeavors. Let me give you a brief overview of my IRV journey in the last years:
In 2009, I was asked to support the IRV as a media and press officer by former IRV President Paul Sieler. It was an honor for me to support my beloved sport in this way. I took my camera with me to travel to the World Championships 2009 in Baar, 2011 in Arnsberg and 2013 in Chicago to share all the emotional moments with the Wheel Gymnastics community worldwide.
At the end of 2014, my IRV colleagues and former President Paul Sieler convinced me to run as an election candidate for the position as IRV President. Paul decided not to stand for re-election and wanted to hand over his responsibilities into younger hands. I was extremely thankful for this opportunity at just 28 years of age. Also the member representatives trusted in me, so that I started with my IRV colleagues into our first “off-site” seminar in Hamburg in September 2015, where we worked on our “Agenda 2020” with lots of ideas around improvements for our competition formats and regulations. Many of these thoughts and ideas are now reality.
The 2015 World Championships in Lignano (Italy), 2016 World Championships in Cincinnati (USA), 2017 Team World Cup in Salzburg (Austria), 2018 World Championships in Magglingen (Switzerland) and the 2019 Team World Cup in Akita (Japan) were a wonderful journey for me.
However, I also have to admit that the global pandemic starting 2020 was a big challenge for me as President. The postponement and later cancellation of the planned 2020 / 2021 World Championships in New Jersey have been the most difficult decisions in my period of office.
As an international sport federation we came through the pandemic fairly smoothly and met again for the World Championships 2022 in Sonderburg (Denmark). It was so great to see all the Wheel Gymnasts from around the world in one sports hall again. With the 2023 Team World Championships we introduced the revised format of our former Team World Cup and invited the best four junior and senior teams to meet and compete in Chicago (USA).
Now, the next event in 2024 is ahead of us and also new endeavors for me personally.
I’m happy to serve as IRV President until mid-2024, but will not stand for re-election for another term in office at the next IRV General Assembly 2024, which will take place at the 2024 World Championships.
This journey has been really amazing, all the discussions with my IRV colleagues and long-term friends in the IRV Executive Board and Technical Commissions of the IRV have definitely shaped my way of thinking, my way of acting and the way I appreciate friendships. I’m really grateful to work with this amazing team for the last years!
I look forward to seeing hopefully all of you at our next 2024 World Championships. The IRV Office with our General Secretary Cheyenne Rechsteiner will invite our member countries and their representatives to the next General Assembly and will also provide more details about election candidates and election procedures within the next months.
Keep the wheels rolling!
Best regards, Henning Henningsen