European Aquatics Bureau heralds a new era by approving a new Strategic Plan, including the first Aquatics Social Responsibility charter and the European Aquatics Academy

The Bureau of European Aquatics met in Antalya, Turkiye, on Saturday 23 March, to discuss key strategic issues and approved the Treasurer’s report and 2024 Budget proposal, as well as the priorities and road map of the 2024-2030 European Aquatics Strategic Plan as well as new programmes centred on Aquatics Social Responsibility, and the European Aquatics Academy.

The Bureau members were joined in Antalya by the chairs of European Aquatics Technical Committees, who updated the Bureau on recent activities and plans for 2024. The Committee chairs will be closely involved in the management and delivery of the new initiatives connected to the Strategic Plan.

The Bureau approved new members of the Technical Committees (except for the Technical Water Polo Committee which will take place in June, at the end of the current season). Once the members have been advised, the information will be available on the website. Regarding the Diversity and Inclusion Commission, Bureau agreed that this would be renamed as the “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission” and that the chair would be invited to future meetings of the European Aquatics Executive Bureau meetings as an observer. It was noted with satisfaction that more than 40% of the members of the Technical Committees and Commissions are now women.

New competition regulations, and revised policies and procedures, were approved by the Bureau and will be updated onto the website shortly.

European Aquatics Strategic Plan 2024-2030
Following the presentation of the Strategic Plan, a number of Strategic Objectives were approved, for European Aquatics to achieve to realize the overarching mission and vision. These are grouped by Strategic Pillar to showcase priorities under each pillar (focus area) with key priorities marked with an asterisk (see illustration).

European Aquatics Academy

The creation of a European Aquatics Academy was also approved and is designed to be a hub driven by innovation for the education and development of the European Aquatics community, actively supporting and nurturing them to reach their full potential.

The goals of the Academy can be seen in the attached illustration:

The European Aquatics Academy will support national federations, athletes, coaches and officials with educational programmes and have a formal structure and governance system that will involve all stakeholders. A dedicated project manager will now be engaged by European Aquatics to help design an Academy certification system, to create the curriculum and to gather and develop educational content so that the European Aquatics Academy can be implemented.

The bureau also endorsed a new Aquatics Social Responsibility charter as a key part of the Strategic Plan 2024-2030.

This will synchronise European Aquatics’ ASR initiatives with the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which was launched in 2015 and comprises 17 development goals to address global challenges.

By aligning to this charter, European Aquatics underlines the role of Aquatic sports as a catalyst for positive change.

European Aquatics will guide national federations and local organising committees through the changes to allow for common and sustainable actions while engaging the aquatic community.

European Aquatics has outlined three principles as shown in the attached illustration.

Executive Director Patrice Coste said: “We had an intense day of discussions and debate in Antalya which will have a major impact on the future of European Aquatics. With the final approval of the 2024 Budget and the different strategic initiatives, our professional office will need to be restructured and we will now start the search for additional experts to support us in marketing, broadcasting, development, and data management.”

The next meeting of the Bureau will take place on 21 June in Belgrade during the European Aquatics Championships.