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LEN Bureau begins to design a road map for positive change to Aquatic disciplines and gives a greater voice to athletes

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One of the key priorities of the new LEN Bureau is to work together to develop the sport and all its disciplines. Aquatics, with its unique history and rich mix of sport disciplines, offers great opportunities for sustainable growth.

LEN Vice-President Josip Varvodic said:

“It was crucial for the new LEN Bureau to address positive change for all aspects of our swimming, artistic swimming, diving, and water polo disciplines – but also giving a stronger voice to our athletes. Structures have been put in place to provide a road map for the future of the sport and dialogue has begun – with national federations but also with FINA – about how we can best develop all the aquatic disciplines, in a co-ordinated and progressive way.”

Here are some of the highlights of progress made by the new LEN Bureau since February 5:

  • We have assigned a Bureau Member, as a liaison, to each aquatic discipline to provide a dedicated lead who will now be responsible for driving forward progress in their respective discipline.
  • We have had a productive meeting with the European National Olympic Committees (ENOC) about ways in which we would grow the sport and the possibility to include aquatics as part of the next European Games in Krakow, Poland in 2023.
  • As is the case for the other pillars of the election Campaign and Action Plan, we are in regular communication with FINA. The conversations have been particularly focused on the future aquatics calendar as reform here will have wide reaching, positive consequences. President António Silva and Vice-President Josip Varvodic have just concluded a European tour with FINA President, Husain Al Musallam, where they met many National Federation representatives, and had fruitful discussions. The ongoing reform of Open Water swimming and Water Polo (including the calendar, competitions, and investment) is already underway.
  • LEN has also made progress in looking at the competition and progression pathway for athletes in each aquatic discipline. We want to ensure that every athlete has sufficient and appropriate competition opportunities to help them progress.

The LEN Bureau wants the Athlete Committee to be an important platform for athletes to voice their opinions and input into the future of the sport, with an active presence not only at the LEN General Assembly as delegates but also to contribute to Len Bureau meetings. The Bureau has agreed to broaden the criteria for membership of the Athlete Committee. Active athletes can now be a part of this Committee and it is not necessary for them to have previously won medals at Championships. Once the new Athlete Committee is formed, one of its main tasks will be to overhaul the election process and to give athletes a direct voice in electing members of the committee.