(ISN) – With just one month to go to the IRB World Rugby Conference and Exhibition 2014 (ConfEx) the IRB has announced speakers for the “Olympic Rugby Sevens – Faster, Higher, Stronger” panel session.
Bringing together experts from the Olympic world and the wider sporting landscape, the panel will discuss how Rugby can make a success of Rio 2016 and become a must-attend event at the Olympic Games.
Patrick Baumann, Secretary-General of the Fédération Internationale de Basketball Amateur (FIBA) will join the panel to provide insight and advice on what it takes to be a successful Olympic sport and how Rugby can make the most of the debut of Sevens at Rio 2016.
Baumann will be joined by Octavian Morariu, President of Rugby Europe, who has extensive experience spanning both Olympic and Rugby sports administration. As a serving member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the IRB Council, Morariu will provide a unique perspective on how Rugby can strike gold at Rio 2016.
Others on the panel include former Argentina international Gus Pichot, who also now serves on the IRB Council, the IRB’s Head of Competitions and Performance, Mark Egan, and Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014-winning centre Rachael Burford for England.
The panel will be moderated by BBC World journalist and broadcaster David Eades.
IRB Chief Executive Brett Gosper said: “Rio 2016 is less than two years away and we must make sure that we make the most of the fantastic opportunity we have to showcase Rugby Sevens to the world. The ‘Olympic Rugby Sevens – Faster, Higher, Stronger’ panel is the perfect platform to debate the challenges and opportunities as the momentum builds towards this vital moment for our sport.
“With one month to go to the IRB ConfEx we are delighted with the growing list of high-calibre speakers and partners. It’s going to be a fascinating conference that offers valuable insights into the issues that really matter to the Rugby family and the wider sporting community.”
Taking place on November 17-18 at the Hilton London Metropole, ConfEx will offer a dynamic platform to discuss, learn and create partnerships that will project Rugby’s values worldwide. Supporting the IRB’s mission to reach out to new markets around the globe, the vision of ConfEx is to empower the Rugby community and help it achieve ever-increasing heights of Rugby participation and excellence.
High-profile speakers already announced include:
Craig Reedie – IOC Vice-President and World Anti-Doping Agency President
Clive Woodward – former international player, Rugby World Cup-winning coach and former British and Irish Lions coach
Heather Rabbatts – Football Association Director and Chair of the Inclusion Advisory Board
Ronnie Flanagan – Chairman of the International Cricket Council’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit
Debbie Jevans – CEO of England Rugby 2015
Dr Martin Raftery – IRB Chief Medical Officer
Patrick Baumann is a highly respected expert in the international sports community. As well as being Secretary-General of FIBA he has previously been a member of the IOC’s Evaluation Commissions for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, and the Coordination Commission for London 2012. Baumann was elected as a member of the IOC in July 2007 and has more recently served on the IOC’s International Relations and Sport and Law Commissions.
Octavian Morariu is a former international Rugby player who has also established a distinguished career in sports administration. He is the former President of the Romanian Rugby Federation (2001-2003), the Romanian National Sports Agency (2003-2004) and the National Olympic Committee of Romania (2004-2014) and former member of the European Olympic Committee (2009-2014). He currently heads up Rugby Europe and serves as a member of the IOC.
Agustín (Gus) Pichot is the former captain and 75-Test veteran of Los Pumas. Following his stellar playing career, Pichot was inducted into the IRB Hall of Fame in 2011 and, in 2012, was elected to the IRB Council where he continues to serve the Game.
Mark Egan is a former elite rugby player, who has been Head of Competitions and Performance at the IRB since 2002. He acts as an IRB spokesman on key administrative issues.
Rachael Buford is a talented England Rugby player who was part of the team that won the Women’s Rugby World Cup 2014. Burford is also highly regarded on the Sevens pitch, taking part in the Rugby World Cup Sevens 2009 and 2013.