The Presidents

Prof dr Ugur Erdener 

Ugur Erdener was born on 15 June 1950. He studied at the School of Medicine at Hacettepe University in Ankara, graduating in 1977 before completing a residency in Ophthalmology at Hacettepe University Hospitals.

He was the driving force behind archery in Turkey at the turn of the millennium and served as President of the Turkish Archery Federation for 23 years, and President of World Archery Europe for five years. He became the first Turkish sportsperson to be elected President of an International Federation when he assumed the World Archery Presidency in 2005. He was appointed to the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee in 2008 and President of the Turkish Olympic Committee in 2011.

As President of World Archery, Prof Dr Ugur Erdener oversaw a period of extreme growth. The organisation changed its name from FITA and launched the Archery World Cup, while strengthening its position as an important sport in the Olympic Movement.

James L Easton 

A life-long supporter of archery, Jim Easton became President of Jas D Easton sports equipment company in 1972, expanding its operations and launching charitable foundations for the development of sport in 2007.

Elected to the position of World Archery President in 1989, he continued the drive for modernisation by revolutionising the competition format for archery at the Olympic Games, turning it into a spectator- and broadcast-friendly matchplay round that quickly proved a success.

After becoming a Member of the International Olympic Committee in 1994, Jim was elected Vice President and Member of the Executive Board in 2002.

Jim’s other achievements included organising the 1983 World Archery Championships in Los Angeles, acting as commissioner of the archery event at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games – as well as being Mayor of the Athletes’ Village at UCLA and Vice President of Technology for the organising committee – producing all but one Olympic Games archery film from Munich 1972 to Athens 2004, being the founding donor of the World Archery Development Foundation and serving on the United States Olympic Committee Board of Directors.

Francesco Gnecchi-Ruscone 

Born on 13 March 1924 in Milan, Italy, Francesco Gnecchi-Ruscone was a avid athlete in sports such as archery, rowing, equestrian, trap shooting, sailing and long-distance swimming. He was President of the Italian Archery Federation from 1969 to 1981; the federation grew from six to 60 affiliated clubs during his tenure.

He worked with the International Olympic Committee to introduce a separate team round competition at Games, which debuted at the Seoul 1988 Olympics and has remained part of the event ever since. He also introduced the 1440 Round (then Grand FITA) and restructured World Archery’s governance by giving more scope to the Executive Board and continental associations.

Francesco Gnecchi-Ruscone also served as member of the Italian National Olympic Committee and the GAISF Council.

Inger K Frith 

Inger Frith forever has a place in sport’s history as the primary architect of archery’s re-introduction to the Olympic Programme in 1972 and as the first female President of an International Federation in the Olympic Movement.

As an archer, she participated in three world championships as a member of the British team while already fulfilling official functions. She was Vice President of Archery GB (then GNAS) and became World Archery Vice President in 1953, a post she held until her election to President in 1961.

Oscar Kessels 

Born in 1903, Oscar Kessels was introduced to archery by his father-in-law Jerome de Mayer, the 1920 Olympic Champion. Naturally talented, he participated in a total of 21 world championships throughout his career as an athlete.

A well-known industrialist, he was President of one of the old archery clubs in existence, Director-Treasurer General of the Belgian Olympic Committee and elected Vice President of World Archery in 1949. In 1961, he was appointed World Archery’s permanent delegate to the International Olympic Committee and worked tirelessly to champion archery’s re-introduction to the Olympic Programme.

Henry Kjellson 

Henry Kjellson was born on 8 August 1891. He was an Engineer and aeroplane constructor and worked for the Swedish Royal Air Force for many years, designing 10 places.

After taking up archery in 1932, he became world champion just two years later. President of the Stockholm Archery Club and founder-President of the Swedish Archery Federation, he became World Archery Vice President in 1946 then President in 1949.

He lent numerous technical innovations to archery equipment and his wife was also an archery champion in Sweden.

Paul Demare 

Born on 8 April 1982 in Crisolles, Oise, he was at the heart of archery in France from the very beginning of his life.

An architect and expert before a court of law, Paul Demare was also Secretary General of the French Archery Federation and a co-founder of World Archery. He also became an influential member of the French National Sports Committee. An elite archer, he participated in many World Archery Championships.

Bronislaw Pierzchala 

President of the Polish Archery Federation, Bronislaw Pierzchala made the first approach to the International Olympic Committee about the possibility of archery’s return to the sport programme of the Olympic Games.

Mieczyslaw Fularski 

A regular soilder, Mieczyslaw Fularski became interested in the development of Polish sport in the 1920s. It was on his initiative that the constituent Congress of World Archery (FITA) was convened in 1931. Elected President, but also promoted to Major, he was obliged to resign immediately. He did, neverthless, assist his successor for several years afterwards.