Artistic Swimming “excited” to be part of 2023 European Games

Key figures from the LEN Technical Artistic Swimming Committee (TASC) and LEN Office met in Belgrade

Attendees left a crucial networking meeting between the LEN Technical Artistic Swimming Committee (TASC) and LEN Office officials “enthused about the future” after a highly productive gathering in Belgrade.

Among the key areas the group in the Serbian capital discussed concerned preparations for the 2023 European Games, which will take place in Poland from 21 June to 2 July.

Senior Artistic Swimming disciplines, as well as those from diving, have been added to the event, run by the European Olympic Committee (EOC), for the first time since they were included as junior competitions at the inaugural Games – Baku 2015. 

For 2023 artistic swimming competitions will take place in the city of Oświęcim after the EOC initially struggled to find a pool closer to the ‘hub’ of the Games in Kraków and Małopolska.

“We’re very excited to be part of the broader group in a multi-sport event because artistic swimming really benefits from the profile and extra visibility,” said LEN TASC Vice Chair Maria Ramos.

“There have been challenges finding a pool which is suitable and perhaps there was a little feeling that we were a little behind schedule but the team have done a couple of site visit and concerns have been addressed.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the good momentum and progress continue over the next couple of months.”

Ramos was also enthusiastic about the meeting with LEN’s new Executive Director Patrice Coste and LEN Aquatic Sports Director Apostolos Tsagkarakis, who shared their vision for the future of the organisation.

“It was really good for us to meet them and get an understanding about the new structure as well as the new direction of LEN,” she said.

“Sometimes we as a discipline have felt a little left behind, so it was really positive to hear their ideas, their vision and also being more visible.

“Also what was really important was hearing about the collaboration across all disciplines, which was really refreshing.”

Coste, who officially began his new Executive Director role in December, was equally enthusiastic about his experience in Belgrade. 

“It was important and interesting for me to see first-hand the passion and commitment from the committee members and interact with them on the future of their sport in a friendly and collaborative atmosphere,” he said.

Delegates also used the opportunity to review the Roma 2022 European Aquatics Championships and the LEN Clinic, which was attended by over 140 artistic swimming experts from nearly 30 federations in October. 

As part of the latter element was a wider discussion about the implementation of the new World Aquatics (formerly known as FINA) rules which will be used for the first time in European competition this year. 

“Our common feedback was that it was a fruitful discussion with a wonderful potential in sight for the near future,” said LEN Aquatic Sports Director Tsagkarakis.

“We discussed the importance of educating the community about the new rules in the sport, ideas on promoting Diversion and Inclusivity, and of course what content would be appropriate for the enhancement of European Artistic Swimming in the Aquatics world.

“We all left Belgrade with a feeling of satisfaction and enthusiasm to tackle all takeaways from the meetings, as soon as possible.

Tsagkarakis concluded; “Keep an eye of what European Artistic Swimming has to offer in 2023 and you will be astounded!”

Noam Zwii, General Secretary for LEN and Bureau Liaison to Artistic Swimming praised the Committee for their hard work and commitment in recent times and thanked the Serbian Swimming Federation for their “outstanding” hospitality.