Paolo Barelli leads LEN for another four-year term
Paolo Barelli has won another four-year term as President at the LEN Election Congress held in London. David Sparkes and Tamas Gyarfas were also re-elected as General Secretary and Treasurer respectively. President Barelli thanked the support to all LEN Member Federations and declared that together they could ensure that Europe remains the strongest and most successful continent in the aquatic world.
For the first time ever all 52 member federations were present at the LEN Congress in the magnificent East Wintergarden at Canary Wharf. The activity and the financial reports presented to the delegates on 2015 and on the past four years all highlighted how LEN managed to overcome the difficulties from 2012.
The recent cycle turned into a success story, LEN major events produced a significant growth in cumulative TV audience, popularity and media exposure. Involving great cities to stage the European Aquatics Championships (Berlin 2014, London 2016) and the strongest water polo communities for the Water Polo Europeans (Budapest 2014, Belgrade 2016) all contributed to the strengthening of LEN’s position in world of sport, just as the professionalism and the dedication of the hosts of the other important LEN events.
Consequently, LEN’s financial situation has never been so sound as of today, and for the first time it could offer prize money for the athletes competing at the European Championships, and grant travel assistance for the participating federations, amounting almost 2 million euros for 2015 and 2016.
Still, as President Barelli emphasised, the most important outcome of the past four years was the fantastic results the European athletes achieved. As he concluded his speech, “our top priority will be the same, to dedicate all our activities to the benefits of the athletes.”
The other presidential candidate, Erik van Heijningen also presented his programme, then the voting took place. Paolo Barelli got 77 votes, Erik von Heijningen had 27 so Mr. Barelli won another four-year term as LEN President.
The other Officials, General Secretary David Sparkes and Treasurer Tamas Gyarfas, running unopposed, earned unanimous support to continue their work. Francis Luyce, Christa Thiel, Dimitris Diathesopoulos, Sven von Holst and Andriy Vlaskov were elected as Vice-Presidents.
LEN will be represented in the FINA Bureau by Paolo Barelli, Tamas Gyarfas, David Sparkes and Dimitris Diathesopoulos and two other members who will be elected at world-at-large in the 2017 FINA Congress in Budapest.
After the Congress the re-elected LEN President insisted that together the LEN Family could travel the long road successfully. “We had a strategic plan of action and it worked in the past four years. We will exceed these successes in our next term. Our system is based on strategic financial forecasting and implementation.”
“Also, strengthening ties between FINA and LEN will be a top priority in the organisation’s immediate future” Paolo Barelli added. “We will work to increase the support we offer to national federations for the development, more specifically in the areas of teaching and coaching courses, aquatic sport centres, modernisation of equipment and European legislation. LEN must provide operational assistance to members who desire to develop the aquatic disciplines more rapidly in their home countries.”
As a conclusion, the LEN President said: “I would like to thank all those who have helped LEN achieve such remarkable results during my first term as President. Our most heartfelt thanks go to our athletes who we are proud to support by means of our continued, passionate, hard work.”
Upon this occasion, four long-serving officials’ were recognised for their outstanding efforts done for European Aquatics: Swimming Technical Committee Chairman Soren Korbo, TSC Secretary Ray Kendall, former Water Polo Technical Committee Chairman Haluk Toygarli and Technical Diving Committee Chairman Georgia Fyrigou-Consolo.
Composition of the new LEN Bureau, 2016-2020
President: Paolo Barelli (ITA)
General Secretary: David Sparkes (GBR)
Treasurer: Tamas Gyarfas (HUN)
Vice-Presidents: Dimitris Diathesopoulos (GRE), Sven von Holst (SWE), Francis Luyce (FRA), Christa Thiel (GER), Andriy Vlaskov (UKR)
Members: Fernando Carpena (ESP), Joe Caruana Curran (MLT), Per Rune Eknes (NOR), Pia Holmen (DEN), Jerzy Kowalski (POL), Ahmet Mazhar Bozdogan (TUR), Aleksandar Sostar (SRB), Marco Stacchiotti (LUX), Noam Zwi (ISR)
FINA Bureau Continental Members: Paolo Barelli, Dimitris Diathesopoulos, Tamas Gyarfas, David Sparkes
LEN Internal Auditors: Ray Kendall (IRE), Giuseppe Nicolini (SMR)