Thank you for the privilege to serve as the EFOST President.
I am deeply humbled for having been selected to serve as the new President of EFOST: this is not for the work that I have undertaken, but for what others around me have done.
I hope that my past duties as President of BOSTAA, and as president of the Sports and Exercise Medicine of the Royal Society of Medicine will help me in performing these my new duties.
It all started in 1992, and the EFOST is now just leaving its adolescent phase, with all its teenager problems.
There is truth in Newton’s quote about standing on the shoulders of giants. Francois, you and the other leaders at EFOST have generated the momentum to keep moving EFOST forward, and the wisdom to keep it moving in the right direction. We all benefited from your contributions, dedication and volunteerism.
To step into this role feels a little like steering a train. EFOST operates under a strategic plan which sets our direction and controls how the changing succession of leaders navigates. This plan is critical to helping us maintain focus, direction, and purpose.
It is crucial that we focus on our strategic direction. However, we must continue to monitor the environment around us. We must recognize the changing influences so that we can respond appropriately. Europe is in a state of flux, with great challenges, both scientifically and economically. Strategically, we recognized all this a while ago, and we have tried, and succeeded, to be inclusive. The policy has worked, and we have embraced, and we have been embraced, by several countries during Dr Kelberine’s tenure. I can only thank him and the Board for this vision, and can confirm that I wish this train to continue to move in this direction.
A train can only move if it is on the right tracks: I look forward to work with the great engineers of the organization, and welcome the help of the Board of Trustees to keep us on track.
EFOST was born as a get together of a group of friends, and is the baby that was born from the ideas and ideals of several individuals who are in this room today. To them, my thanks for such ideas and ideals, and an assurance: I wish to uphold them. EFOST will need to move forward, and to ensure that the needs of the Sports Trauma Societies which form, sustain, foster and nurture it are satisfied. For this, one of the charges given to me was to change the bylaws. The process was thorny, but the results have been here for all to see: a flexible, dynamic Executive Board, and a Board at Large which is really representative of all Europe. From you, I expect support. To you, I offer dedication.
The life of a President is often lonely. I am a social animal, and I do not wish to be lonely. I intend to use the help and advice of my Past President, Francois, and to have the support of my Vice President, Gernot. I take this opportunity to thank them in advance, and to apologise to them in advance: I know that it is difficult to work with me. I want things yesterday, and, despite 28 years outside of Italy, my Italian quick fire temper can still surface.
EFOST is a great organization, and it has forged great links. You have all seen how the work that Burt has undertaken and the endless meetings that Francois has held have borne fruits: the EFOST-AOSSM traveling fellowship is now a reality, and the support given by all of you on the Board has been superb: many thanks.
One of our Past Presidents, Paco Biosca, is now the Chief Medical Officer of Chelsea: with him, we have succeeded in establishing a football Team Physician fellowship, and we look forward to strengthening these ties.
More on fellowships during the years of my tenure. But remember: it will not be my doing, it will be the work of all of you, of all of us.
EFOST will need to speak with one voice to the world and the sister organizations. In Europe, we have all too often projected the wrong image of weak leadership and of having more than one train controller. The work that Francois has undertaken has ensured that everybody on the Executive Board sang from the same hymn sheet, and that the front that EFOST presents is united and strong. I intend to continue along these lines: too many at the helm is never too good. Each two years, there can only be one.
No doubt somebody and some organizations will feel challenged. Let me remind all of you that EFOST was never on a conquest trip: EFOST wants to build bridges, not to burn them. EFOST wants to have friends, not enemies. EFOST wants a friendly efficient network, not destructive wars.
We are grateful to our mother, EFORT, and we thank it for its support.
We are close to our sister organisation, ESSKA, and we welcome its President to our Congress: Thank you, Joao. ISAKOS has graced us with unending support: we thank Philippe Neyret, the President Elect, for having graced us with such great scientific input.
ECOSEP is a natural sister organisation and ally: Nikos, you are welcome amongst us today.
Communication is always important: my thanks will have to be conveyed to Dr Doral and Dr Mann and their team for the Newsletter. Only if you have never read it will you ignore the endless hours that Mahmut and Gideon put into it: to them, my vote of thanks.
A scientific organization cannot progress without a journal. You all know about Muscles, Ligaments and Tendons Journal (MLTJ), the official journal of EFOST and ISMuLT. I intend to continue to be the Chief Editor of MLTJ, and I can just see the challenges ahead. Let me tell you: the first two years have been hard, and only now we are starting to see the evidence of the hard work that my Associate Editor, Dr Oliva, has undertaken. It is a baby. Its nourishing milk is the high quality work that it publishes. Unless EFOST and its members nurture it, it will not thrive. Unless we send work to it, it will not flourish. Unless we find funds to keep the spirit of EFOST going through it, it will not be: as the President of EFOST and as the Editor in Chief of MLTJ, I prompt you to keep it going. Please remember that all the abstracts of this congress are available, for free, on the MLTJ platform: please visit it, and contribute to the Journal.
An organization cannot survive without appropriate finances: many thanks, Jose, for having put in place the infrastructure for our safety and financial survival. I am sure that you will keep us right, and that you will reassure the membership that their dues are well spent.
We would not have been able to mount such a great congress without the help of our trade partners: to them, my thanks for the continuing support of EFOST.
We are now coming to the end of the WSTC – EFOST congress. GCO has helped us, and will continue to do so. Claudine, Simon: my thanks to you. In difficult personal circumstances, you have been close to EFOST, and you have believed in us. We look forward to continuing to work with you.
I look forward to continuing to work with the organisation of which I have been President, BOSTAA: the deep friendship that ties me to Roger, the ougoing president, and Mike, who will be president starting in a couple of hours, will make things easier.
This is an exciting time. Not just for me, as the new leader EFOST, but for all of you, for all of us. The opportunities are endless. I will work to ensure that, when my tenure is over and the new President will step into this role, he can see even farther down the tracks. The goal is to help usher the EFOST to a new place; not because we changed direction, but because we moved forward even faster.
Thank you again for this opportunity to serve you as president of EFOST. I appreciate your faith: I will do all I can to make these two years successful, enjoyable, and fun.