Giovanni Copioli, president of the Italian Motorcycling Federation (FMI) since 2017, was also appointed Vice-President of the International Motorcycling Federation (FIM) at the end of 2022. A recognition not only of one’s good work, but also of growing credibility of Italy and of its Federation in the international context.
What does the appointment as Vice-President of the FIM mean for you?
“Definitely a slightly more pressing commitment than the one covered as a board member. My main objective is always the Italian federation, but if I can I will also contribute to the international one, because in any case the connection between the two realities is strong. Obviously covering the role of deputy in the International Federation brings not only personal satisfaction, but the most important thing is that Italy is considered for what it deserves. No doubt there will be a few more trips to the FIM’s Geneva headquarters, but overall international commitments should remain more or less the same. I was also included in the Finance Commission, but this shouldn’t lead to major changes”.
In your opinion, what achievements of the IMF led the FIM to offer you such an important position?
“I have dedicated body and soul to the Italian Federation in the last six years and this has probably also been seen at an international level. I think it’s always a team effort, in addition to the personal relationships I’ve managed to build over time with the various foreign federations and with President Jorge Viegas. The sporting results then benefited everyone, first and foremost the Federation. And the credit goes to the Italian riders who achieved them and to all the work done by our technical, support and relationship sectors…”.
On the momentum of victories, are the FIM 2023 memberships growing?
“We are more or less in line with last year’s data. We have already re-affiliated almost 1,700 motoclubs out of a total of 1,770, so for the moment we are aligned and I believe that this year we will not deviate, which would be a wonderful result in itself. Last season we closed with 114,000 registered players, of which around 21,000 were fired”.
Which discipline is growing the most and which is suffering?
“The general trend of all motorcycle disciplines in recent years has always been growing. In the last two years we have also done an excellent job in Trial, which has led to good sporting results this year in the Trial of Nations in Monza. Where we need to grow the most is in the Motard, which is a somewhat difficult discipline but where we have comforting numbers and good room for improvement. And then there’s all the work on the youth sector, where we will commit ourselves even more, not only with greater economic investments, but also by engaging many technicians; an example: a project linked to the world of mini bikes will start immediately”.
Are you really doing everything possible to (re)put the youngsters in the saddle?
“We have had a project called Primi Passi in place for some years and which we will enhance in 2023. Thanks also to an additional financial contribution, we will give more weight to the human and professional aspect, increasing the number of technical instructors. This should lead many kids (at least a thousand) to get on the saddle of minicross, minienduro and minibikes by participating in courses that are developed over a duration of 6/8 months”.
What is the sector that has grown the most between speed and off-road vehicles in recent years?
“In numerical terms, the off-road world licensees are much more than those of speed, while in terms of results in recent years we have had excellent results in both disciplines, both individually and nationally: in this regard I am thinking of the Six Days in Italy and in France, the Motocross of Nations, the Trial of Nations with results never achieved in our history”.
Apart from the timeless “geeks”, in what state of health is Mototurismo?
“The tourism sector is very important to us, because it brings with it high numbers both in terms of participation in events and in terms of results. In 2022 we made over 700 social outings organized by the various motoclubs for their members; and with just as many events such as classic rallies and the more recent adventouring events, we are over 1,500 events. Also in terms of sporting results we are very satisfied given that we have won the FIM Rally in the last 4 years, which is an equally positive sign”.
Are motorcycle rides still on the rise?
“We have data that indicate a certain stability, with slight growth. Within these events there are obviously some that attract more participants, others less. The important thing for us is that the rides are done above all with our members, even if we then give the motorcycle clubs the possibility of accepting non-members with dedicated insurance coverage”.
How are you developing the IMF register?
“First of all, we have implemented projects to speed up enrollment times: by submitting a file with the documentation in order and in the correct manner, within a few days you already have everything, including the certificate of historical relevance, which was recently all digitised. To date we have exceeded the 275,000 motorcycles entered in the Register”.
In 2023, why should a motorcyclist join the Federation?
“To become part of a large family, with which to get together and share one’s passion. This should be the main engine that pushes someone to join. And then there are a series of ‘benefits’ that allow the enthusiast to obtain a series of discounts, such as the possibility of having a dedicated Unipol insurance policy (costing 90 euros a year) for those who register their motorbike , twenty years old and over, to the Historic Register; if you have several motorcycles that fall within the parameters, you can insure them all for a slightly higher cost”.
How are the “battles” you are carrying out in favor of motorcycling going?
“There is a daily activity of institutional relations that we have intensified with the help of Dr. Francesca Marozza, who has found good intentions for the moment on the part of many politicians, both from those who were already our interlocutor and from those who have now arrived with the new government”.
In this regard, how is the relationship with the interlocutors of the new government?
“Look, as far as the new Minister of Sport Andrea Abodi is concerned, we are waiting for an interview to address various topics that are close to the heart of all the Federations. The fact that the IMF is not among the Olympic federations also penalizes us in the distribution of contributions that are disbursed through Sport and Health. We receive a contribution that goes around 22-25% of our budget while the rest is financed through our activities; producing this very high percentage of self-financing obviously also has costs that other federations, which on the other hand also receive 80-90% of their budget, do not have. This is all quite frustrating. In our case, it is clear that with such a variable part of the budget it becomes difficult even to plan, despite the fact that our economic situation is quite solid. In any case, as good motorcyclists, we are tenacious and will continue to work hard to achieve other important goals, as we have been in recent years”.
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