Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi received a LEN delegation in her office this Friday where the Italian Swimming Federation’s and city’s bid to host the 2022 European Aquatics Championships was presented.
A LEN delegation was in Rome this Friday to conduct a final site visit before the LEN Bureau allocates the 2022 European Aquatics Championships. The delegation toured the proposed venues of the event with the world-famous Foro Italico in the heart of the plans.
The delegation, headed by General Secretary David Sparkes, Vice-President Andriy Vlaskov and Executive Gianni Minervini, was later received by Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi in her office. On this occasion Paolo Barelli represented the Italian federation and shared the most important parts of the bid in the city hall in the presence of Giuseppe Pierro, the director of the Sports Ministry and Cinzia Zucal Sports Councillor of the Lazio Region.
Mr Barelli emphasised that Rome and the Lazio Region was ready to stage another great edition of the continental showcase in the framework of the multi-sport European Championships, a project run by Eurovision (EBU), which had proved to be a great success in 2018 drawing more than 200 million viewers. “It’s a wonderful occasion to promote our city and aquatics around the world but also to involve the younger generations and boost the success of the Learn-to-Swim projects” he added.
Mayor Raggi said that the city embraced the bid as it plans to use existing facilities both for the competitions and trainings with the addition of some temporary ones and doesn’t require any new construction which sends a positive message on sustainability. “Such a highly appreciated event as the European Aquatics Championships will have a great impact in our city. Staging cultural events in connection with the sport part as well as involving the young generations should also be a great addition” she said.
LEN General Secretary David Sparkes recalled that the last time Rome hosted the European Aquatics Championships dated back to 1983. “Since then this beautiful city organised two fantastic World Championships so the people here have all skills, experience and knowledge to deliver a brilliant continental event. We were happy to see the plans which were very much promising, you have outstanding facilities and rich traditions so everything is given to have a highly successful European Championships here” he said, adding that the voting on 2022 was expected within a week by the LEN Bureau.
According to the first masterplan presented, the 2022 European Championships will be reminiscent of the 2009 World Champs as the globally renowned complex of Foro Italico will host the swimming and the diving competitions and a temporary pool would be set up in the adjacent tennis centre to accommodate the artistic swimming events. Open water swimming would return to the coasts of Ostia where the Italian Swimming Federations has its training centre which can serve as the practice site as well.
As a novelty, Rome is considering to stage the first ever European Championship in high diving. “The city has some iconic landmarks and the plans we saw are very attracting, let’s hope this can turn into reality” David Sparkes said at the meeting.
The LEN Bureau is set to vote on the bids for 2022 next week.