Dear LEN Family Members, Friends of European Aquatics!
I hope you enjoyed Christmas time and now you are getting ready for another highly successful year in 2018.
I used the word ‘another’ as the year behind us was also full of joy. Europe held its top position in aquatics among the continents, achieving fantastic results at the major competitions and other important meets. We cannot praise enough the professionalism and commitment of our National Federations, the hard work of our athletes and the dedication and knowledge of our coaches and officials.
The great results haven’t come out of the blue. By any means Europe is the best-established continent with aquatics-dedicated championships in all disciplines and all age-groups from the youth to the Masters, the number of registered swimmers is more than 50 million!
The unmatchable traditions in staging high-profile competitions, having great organisation skills, running brilliant sport programmes in the respective countries should make all members of the LEN Family really proud. The fundaments of European Aquatics are exceptionally strong and give all of us a rather bright perspective.
Our LEN Bureau Members, our Committee and Commission Members, our Staff Members in the LEN Office, our Officials in association with the LEN Partners and organisers of the LEN Events will do their utmost to secure the best racing environment for our athletes and coaches. We are ready to deliver great competitions in all disciplines, we are maintaining our travel assistance programme for the National Federations and thanks to our sound financial background we can continue giving back to our athletes and clubs by offering higher and higher prize money at the respective events.
I’m also glad to see that thanks to the efforts done by LEN and its President, FINA has launched a development programme and offered funds to the National Federations and I encourage you to take part in the procedure and fill in the related documents you might have received. Even if more can be done on this field, Europe showed the path to follow – and aquatics could benefit from that on a global scale.
Also, we plan to make huge progress with our new initiatives, the Get Europe Swimming Safely programme and its core part, the Learn To Swim programme. All of us are aware of the importance of taking action in this field: it’s about saving lives and creating a better future for our children and grandchildren. We would like to rely on the experience of our National Federation in order to gain success with these projects as well.
In 2018, LEN Family Members can be part of some magnificent sporting spectacles, including the European Aquatics Championships in Glasgow. This might be a real highlight of the season, since, for the first time, our meet will be part of a multi-sport event, the European Championships, where seven continental championships will be held parallel. This brand new scheme promises a huge boost in exposure and its expected success might rocket our event to new dimensions in the coming years.
The European Water Polo Championships in Barcelona, the reformatted Champions League Final Eight to be staged in Genoa and our brand new premium series for national teams, the Europa Cup should set fine examples in all aspects. I do think that these events shall prove once more that water polo in its current shape is a fantastic sport itself and it doesn’t need significant change – you just need to follow the path set by some previous European organisers, like Belgrade or Budapest.
I do believe that besides the LEN Events, the local competitions organised by our Nation Federations will also benefit European Aquatics and contribute a lot to witness another successful year. With joint efforts and good cooperation Europe will surely stay atop the aquatic world.
We have every reason to be optimistic for 2018. On behalf of the LEN Bureau, the Office and all LEN Officials let me wish you a very Happy and Successful New Year!