The Polish Esports Association (Polski Związek Esportu), a governing body for esports in Poland, announced that it has officially joined the Polish Olympic Committee.
The Association was accepted as a member via a special resolution by the Polish Olympic Committee in late March, according to a release. As a result, the Esports Federation is now an ordinary member of the Committee in the same way that traditional sports are.
The move will be welcome news in Poland, one of the countries that has historically been on the forefront of esports in Europe.
Esports was already widely accepted as a sport in the country, with the Polish Act on Sport stating that “any form of competition based on intellectual activity, which claims to achieve a sports result” should be treated as a sport back in 2017.
The inclusion in the Olympic Committee will enable the Polish Esports Association to continue developing esports in the country. As a fully fledged member of the Olympic Committee, the Association has more tools at its disposal to create tournaments, educational initiatives and work with children and young people on grassroots initiatives, it said in a release.
Media company Esport1 CEE noted in a report for Esports Insider that being a full member will grant the Polish Esports Association (ESA) the ability to exercise its electoral rights in the Olympic Committee. Such rights include submitting motions to the Polish OC governing bodies, taking part in statutory activities and developing cooperations with local governments and traditional sports associations.
The Polish Esports Association has been supporting the local scene for years. The organisation is behind a programme that implements esports education in more than 50 schools in Poland. The organisation also works closely with other sports bodies, such as the Polish Anti-Doping Agency, and is a partner of the International Esports Federation (IESF).
The Association also works with the Global Esports Federation (GEF), and is working with the Federation on organising the upcoming European Games Esports Championships, set to take place in June and July in Katowice, Poland.
Moreover, the President of Poland Andrzej Duda has also worked with the Association on a national esports team project, which saw the Polish national team win the first-ever women’s CS:GO tournament at the 2022 World Esports Championship in Bali, Indonesia.
Andrzej Kraśnicki, President of the Polish Olympic Committee, said in a translated release: “I am very happy that Olympiasm is moving with the times and opening up to a new field, and esports is undoubtedly such a sport. Among young people, it is a power that cannot be overlooked.
Today it is a very important branch of the well-known classical sport, of which it becomes an indispensable and very significant part. Only the way it is practiced is different, but the goals and assumptions are the same — competition in the spirit of fair play, representing national colours and pride in success for the country.” (Translated from Polish)