Years and years ago our readers were asked about whether pole dancing should be in exercise classes in higher ed. Now, according to the BBC, “pole” seems on its way to becoming a sport.
That’s because pole dancing – or pole, as the International Pole Sports Federation (IPSF) prefers – has been recognised by an international sporting body for the first time.
It has been given “observer status” by the Global Association of International Sports Federation (GAISF) – meaning it is provisionally recognised as a sport.
That is largely the result of a campaign by Katie Coates, a 41-year-old from Hertfordshire, who founded the IPSF and told the Daily Telegraph: “I feel like we have achieved the impossible, everyone told us that we would not be able to get pole dancing recognised as a sport.”
The IPSF emphasises that pole dancing is about “athleticism and technical merit”, in line with “other Olympic standard sports such as gymnastics, diving and ice skating”.
So even though it may be closely associated with strip clubs, a performance does not have to contain an erotic element.