The highest ever sum offered in prize money and contribution
LEN shall offer the highest ever prize money and team contribution in its history in 2018, LEN President Paolo Barelli announced at the first Bureau meeting of the year. The 2017 European Short-Course Swimming Championships produced the biggest ever turnout in the event’s history with 34,500 tickets sold, and the total reach of its media coverage neared 300 million.
LEN will offer 1.5 million Euros in prize money for the athletes and contribution for the National Federations in 2018, the highest ever sum in its history. Cash awards for the best athletes are put on the table at all major LEN Events, including the European Championships in Glasgow (swimming, diving, synchro, open water), in Barcelona (water polo) and also other competitions, like the open water swimming European Cup, the water polo Europa Cup and the Champions League.
“We are ready to redistribute more and more to our athletes and the National Federations” LEN President Paolo Barelli said at the year’s first Bureau meeting held in the Grand Hotel Excelsior in Valletta (MLT).
The Bureau approved the new Policies and Procedures in finances as well as the 2018 budget and the reports of the internal auditors and external auditor Deloitte on 2017.
Some stunning statistics have been shared on the 2017 European Short-Course Swimming Championships. In Copenhagen, the organisers targeted 25,000 in ticket-sales but the final number reached 34,500, the highest ever turnout in the event’s history. The meet’s Facebook page had 1,049,890 unique visitors and the entire media coverage produced a reach of 292,659,000 people.
LEN is committed to produce similarly sound data in its summer showcases, especially at the European Championships in Glasgow where continental events for six sports will be held parallel with the athletic Europeans also running in Berlin. “This is a tremendous opportunity to lift European Aquatics to a new dimension” the LEN President said. “Together with the other stakeholders, especially with our partner EBU (Eurovision) we are working really hard to make this event a global hit. A success in August would open the doors to reach unprecedented heights in 2022.”
The Bureau agreed that the new event for national teams, the water polo Europa Cup should be open for all and will qualify four teams to the following edition of the European Championships. There are ongoing talks between LEN and FINA representatives that the next edition of this competition may also serve as the continental qualifier for the 2019 World League Super Finals.
The Bureau agreed to further explore the possibilities to have 15-member squads at the major multi-day water polo events (teams would have to name 13 players two hours prior to the actual match). “We need to continue discussions with FINA and other continents as we consider this change a benefit for the sport” Paolo Barelli explained. “Water polo players face growing physical demands as the calendar is getting busier. We all hope we can reach a consensus in the future.”
LEN devotes special attention to increase the activities helping the development of the National Federations in Europe. The process to appoint the host of the continental Seminar for future National Aquatics Managers in the framework of the FINA Development Programme has also been launched.
New initiatives for age-group continental events have been approved: from 2019 the U15 European Water Polo Championships would be launched while the junior synchronised European Championships will have one more medal event: the 10th title can be earned in the ‘Figures’, effective already this summer in Tampere (FIN). The Bureau gave green light to several other recommendations made by the respective technical committees in swimming, diving, open water swimming and masters.