PRESS RELEASE #05 / 2017




The World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) is pleased to announce the new leadership for the WFSGI Manufacturers Committee. Rakhil Hirdaramani, Owner and Director of the Hirdaramani Group, has been appointed new chairman of the committee succeeding Charles Yang from the Pou Chen Group. Rakhil Hirdaramani is deeply committed to taking forward the work of the Manufacturers Committee and emphasizes its importance: “For our business it is crucial to learn about new manufacturing principles. Through the global sporting goods industry network, we can prepare ourselves for future business possibilities and seize new approaches and opportunities.”

WFSGI President/CEO Robbert de Kock states: “Rakhil is an asset to the WFSGI, because he brings valuable manufacturing expertise and is an influential and innovative business leader that can help drive the future of manufacturing for our industry.”  Hirdaramani has been on the company’s Board since 2007, where he oversees Key Strategic Accounts, Compliance and the group’s IT infrastructure.  Currently he serves on the Regional Board of the YPO-South Asian Region as well as the Colombo Chapter and its incoming Chapter Chair.

The Hirdaramani Group is a USD 900 million multi-country apparel manufacturer organization, producing across 35 facilities in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Vietnam. Their production facilities are capable of an output of approximately 15 million articles of clothing each month. The organization is backwards integrated with its own state-of-the-art washing, printing and embroidery facilities, that makes the group a market leader in the apparel industry.



The WFSGI is pleased to announce that Greg Steyger from Arena has been appointed new Chairman of the Aquatics Committee. With the departure of James Hickman from Speedo International, Greg Steyger accepted the leadership role and is genuinely honoured to be offered the opportunity to preside over the Aquatics Committee: “I look forward to working closely with our co-chairs and committee members to develop a strong and unifying voice for our industry, with the common goal of developing, advancing and promoting aquatic sports and activities.”

Greg Steyger has a career background in brand and product development, sourcing and manufacturing. He has more than fifteen years of experience in the sports apparel industry, and works in the swimwear industry for over four years now. In his role as Global Racing Category Manager for Arena, Greg Steyger is responsible for the development and growth of the brands high performance competition apparel division.  

The new Chairman appointed the following Vice Chairs for the Aquatics Committee: Rob Johnson, Commercial Brand Manager at Speedo International Ltd., and Franck Horter, General Manager EMEA at TYR Sport. WFSGI President/CEO Robbert de Kock states: “The new Aquatics leadership team is representing bundled industry knowledge and years-long experience when it comes to developing the sport, innovating products and working with athletes across the world. I am confident that this team will be doing a great job representing our industry in the Aquatics world.”

The Aquatics Committee is the industry representative body working with the international governing bodies such as FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation), ITU (International Triathlon Union), other International Sport Federations, Organizers of major sport events, international standards institutions and NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organisations) such as WHO (Word Health Organization) and UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) to foster the general development of aquatic sports.



On 4 February 2017, the General Assembly approved to adjust the federation’s business structure, changing the title of President to Chairman of the Board, and the title of Secretary General to President and CEO. In this structure Sean O’Hollaren, Senior Vice President, Government and Public Affairs at Nike Inc., was elected for a three-year term as Chairman of the renewed Board. Robbert de Kock, Secretary General of the WFSGI since 2007, became its first President and CEO combined. 

De Kock now appointed Stefanie Burkert as Vice President, External & Strategic Affairs, Communication and Marc Magnus as Vice President, Trade, Corporate Responsibility and Legal. “With the growing size and relevance of our federation as the world authoritative body of the sporting goods industry, it is important to implement a new sustainable structure. The WFSGI Board of Directors and myself are very pleased to have appointed two of our long-standing staff”, states WFSGI CEO/President Robbert de Kock.  

Stefanie Burkert joined the World Federation in 2010 and oversees relations to international sport organizations, the promotion of physical activity and the engagement with key stakeholders in strategic projects. She holds a Master in Social Sciences and is a Public Relations expert. Her previous work experience includes NGO, agency work and International PR Manager for a manufacturing brand. 

Marc Magnus started at the World Federation in 2010 and in is charge of the WFSGI activities in the field of corporate responsibility as well as international trade and the Responsible Sport Initiative (RSI). Magnus holds a Master in Law with international, human rights, penal and humanitarian law as areas of specialization.


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