LEN President Antonio Silva and Vice-President Josip Varvodic and FINA President Husain Al Musallam ended their tour of European countries with a storming finish that saw them visit five countries in just two days.
LEN President Antonio Silva said:
“We have been extremely busy on this tour, after meeting representatives of 20 National Federations in 12 countries, together with high-ranking officials from NOCs and Governments, including the Prime Minister of Poland. But the tour has been extremely valuable as we finalise our strategy for the future. We have shown that the co-operation between LEN and FINA is now a reality – with a common interest to grow the sport of aquatics and a willingness to listen and learn from our members. What I found interesting also was that there seemed to be three priority issues in all the countries we visited; firstly, a desire to promote Learn to Swim programmes, secondly, an interest in promoting the discipline of water polo and thirdly, that the development of an aligned aquatics calendar that works for all stakeholders should be a key priority for both LEN and FINA.”
The final two destinations on the tour just prior to Easter were Lithuania and the Netherlands.
The delegation attended Vilnius, Lithuania, where they met representatives of the Lithuanian Swimming Federation led by President and LEN Bureau Member Tomas Kucinskas, as well as Presidents of Estonia and Latvian Swimming Federations. Their discussions included plans for the development of the Learn to Swim Programme, which is being strongly pursued by the Lithuanian Federation, and also plans to further promote the growth of water polo in this region, where there is great potential.
The group then travelled to Bodegraven, in the Netherlands, where the delegation had very positive meetings Royal Dutch Swimming Federation, the Dutch Olympic Committee and City of Bodegraven-Reeuwijk representatives. The main talking points on the agenda were the Learn to Swim program and Swim Bangladesh Program. The delegation visited the opening of a brand-new facility at the De Kuil Swimming Pool in Bodegraven. LEN fully supports the work of the Dutch Federation to open more pools and making them available to as many people as possible. The Faroe Islands Federation, was represented by its President and LEN Bureau Member Rókur í Jákupsstovu.
Leaving the Netherlands, the LEN FINA delegation then met with Aquatics and Government representatives in Poland and Germany to close out their 12 country European tour.
The delegation visited Warsaw, Poland, where FINA, LEN and Polish Swimming Federation President, Otylia Jędrzejczak attended high level meetings with Polish Prime Minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, Minister of Sport, Kamil Bortniczuk and representatives from the Polish Ministry and Olympic Committee to discuss the phenomenal development of Aquatics in the country.
Then, the final stop of the tour landed in Frankfurt, Germany where DSV President Marco Troll and Sports Director DSV, Christian Hansmann led fruitful meetings with the German National Olympic Committee covering an extensive list of topics connected to aquatics and the future of Olympic sport.
LEN – European Aquatics would like to extend a heart-felt thank you to all those dedicated individuals they met with during the tour. With special thanks to:
- President Lithuanian Swimming Federation, Tomas Kucinskas General Secretary, Emilis Vaitkaitis Vice-President, Saulius Binevicius Board Member, Asta Dirgeliene Lithuania Minister of Education, Science and Sport, Jurgita Siugzdiniene President Estonia Swimming Federation, Simon Renno President Latvian Swimming Federation, Aivars Platonovs.
- KNZB (Royal Dutch Swimming Federation) Director, Aschwin Lankwarden Member of the Board, Ronald van Ombergen, Member of the Board, Rob Duiven, Staff Member, Guust Jutte Robin van Galen, Staff member & Coach Dutch Water Polo Ladies (Gold Medal Beijing 2008).
- KNZB international representatives
- Andida Bouma, Cees Rein van den Hoogenband and Andy Hoepelman.
- NOC NSF (Olympic Committee) Director, Andre Cats City of Bodegraven-Reeuwijk Mayor/Honorary President KNZB, Erik van Heijningen Vice-Mayor, Dirk Jan Knol VSG (Cities and Sport) André de Jeu.
- BZ&PC local swimming and Water Polo Club President, Erik van Oossanen Faroe Islands Swimming Federation President, Rokur I Jákupsstovu Faroe Islands Swimming Federation Vice President, Simun Michael.
Poland & Germany:
- Mateusz Morawiecki, Prime Minister.
- Kamil Bortniczuk, Minister of Sport.
- Department of Elite Sport, Angelika Glowienka Andrzej Kraśnicki, President Polish Olympic Committee Polish Olympic Committee, Marcin Nowak Polish Olympic Committee, Iwona Łotysz Polish Swimming Federation President, Otylia Jędrzejczak.
- Head of International Relations Olympic Committee, Karin Grafarend CEO NOC, Torsten Burmester President Hessen Federation, Michael Scragg President DSV, Marco Troll Sports Director DSV, Christian Hansmann.