Dear LEN Family Members, Dear Friends,
First of all, I hope you’ve enjoyed your well-deserved holidays as a fine closing of the year. I also hope you’ll agree that European Aquatics can look back on 2018 as another great year in LEN history.
We’ve passed a milestone last summer being part of the first multi-sport European Championships. More than 1,000 athletes representing 47 nations showed up at our main event in the magnificent city of Glasgow and Edinburgh, one cannot wish for better numbers in participation and a better host as the venues met the highest standards. And our athletes showed their skills and talent by transforming the European Championships into a world-class showcase once again.
No wonder that their brilliant performances drew tremendous media attention, the broadcasting figures were simply amazing. Swimming produced the usual high rates while artistic swimming, diving and open water swimming have never experienced such shares in major national TVs as in last August.
Just a couple of weeks earlier Barcelona staged another memorable edition of the European Water Polo Championships, experts labelled it as the best ever in terms of playing quality and entertainment product which gave a huge boost to this discipline too.
The water polo Champions League season, crowned by the Final Eight tournament in Genoa – a newly inaugurated and warmly welcomed format – was also a big hit with tens of thousands tuning in for the free live streaming of the finals from all over the world.
Together with my fellow Bureau Members and with the dedicated professionals of the LEN Office we are constantly working on creating the best possible environment for each event. We cannot be grateful enough for the organisers of our major meets, as well as for the LEN Officials, members of outstanding committees, judges and referees who offer their fantastic knowledge and vast experience to serve the LEN Family whenever called to duty.
Reaching higher and higher also ensures a firm financial background which enables LEN to support the most important stakeholders: the National Federations and the athletes. For the third consecutive year, we can offer more than one million Euros in travel subsidies and prize money as our core target is to share with YOU and our ATHLETES whatever LEN benefits from these amazing successes.
Ever since I’ve become LEN President, I always emphasise that athletes and National Federations must be in the focus of everything we do and the LEN Bureau sticks to this principle amidst all circumstances. Our campaign also bore its first fruits on the world stage as FINA embraced our approach and launched its Olympic Solidarity Programme offering fine support for the National Federations. Moreover, we are also witnessing a breakthrough in the field of prize money offered for those who are the real protagonists of this common success story – the Athletes.
Let me also recall the kick-off of our truly important initiative, the “Learn to Swim, Prevent Drowning” programme which earned the backing of the President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani and that might let this initiative grow much faster and make a bigger impact we’ve ever imagined.
As for this New Year, I can promise that we will continue to use our very best efforts to stand by our targets and to serve all of You in order to assure that Europe shall keep is leading role in Aquatics among the continents. We wish You all the best for 2019 to meet your targets in your respective National Federations – this should also be a real benefit for European Aquatics as a whole.
Dear Friends – have a Happy and Very Prosperous New Year, with full of Success