The world has no shortage of sporting governing bodies and those who preside over them.
But if you’re thinking of choosing this as a career path — and you are female — you might want to consider a name change.
GAISF is the Global Association of International Sports Federations. It has 95 full members and 20 associate members.
Sports federations usually go by acronyms like FIFA (football), FINA (swimming), FIBA (basketball), FIA (motorsport), FIE (fencing) and FIVB (volleyball), although there is a move away to a more ‘modern’ naming norm.
FISA has become World Rowing, and the IAAF has become World Athletics.
There are also the ICC (cricket), the ICU (cheering) and the UCI (cycling).
WAKO belongs in a category of its own — it is the World Association of Kickboxing Organisations.
From amongst them all, those which are presided over by women can be counted on one hand.
The International Netball Federation has a female president, as you might expect. Currently it is Liz Nicholl, a former Wales player.
Of the remaining four women who sit at the head of the board room table, two represent Olympic sports and two are in charge of sports that might be described as niche.
The World Underwater Sports Federation, running disciplines such as underwater hockey and underwater rugby, is headed up by Anna Arzhanova, while Helen Lundberg presides over the International Federation of Sleddog Sports.
The other two female presidents are the International Triathlon Union’s Marisol Casado and the World Curling Federation’s Kate Caithness.
During the past week, there was a chance the number of female international sports presidents could swell by 20 per cent.
Sarah Lewis was a long-time secretary general of the International Ski Federation (FIS).
Lewis threw her hat into the ring for the FIS presidency alongside three men — all of them declaring the “need for change”.
Just what they each meant by “change” was not entirely clear.
In the end, the members of FIS did what they have always done and stuck with the only model they know.
Billionaire and owner of the Head sports equipment company, Johan Eliasch, became only the fifth person to take charge of the sport, and the third consecutive Swiss man.
Since the organisation was founded in 1924, the presidents have been Sweden’s Ivar Holmquist, Norway’s Nikolai Ramm Ostgaard and Swiss men, Marc Hodler and Gian-Franco Kasper.
The 14 original member nations were all in Europe but now FIS has expanded in every direction, boasting 135 member states, while the seat of power remains firmly entrenched.
So, will it be a European woman who succeeds first in breaking the mold, or another man but from outside the European region?
A quick perusal* of the history of some of the major sports shows you have more chance of becoming an international sports federation president if your name is Louis, Thomas, Henri, Erik, Jules, Walter or Robert, (or if you have the title ‘Lord’ or ‘Count’), than if you are a woman.
* No scientific or academic model has been used in this brief analysis but if any institution would like to study this more deeply, and can report different results, the ABC would be interested in hearing from you.