963 athletes from 32 nations and 432 clubs will take to the pool – or the ocean – during seven days of aquatic action at the first-ever European Masters Short Course Swimming Championships – Madeira 2023.
Ahead of the event, the official press conference took place at the Nobre Hall of the Funchal City Council in Portugal.
European Aquatics and Portuguese Swimming Federation (FPN) leaders joined government officials, as well as masters athletes, ahead of the inaugural event, which is set to become a regular fixture in the international calendar.
“Madeira knows how to host major competitions and the first European Short Course Masters will be another organisational success,” stated FPN and European Aquatics President Antonio Silva.
Portuguese swimmer Susana Gomes, who claimed World gold this summer at the global masters championships in Fukuoka, Japan, is an ambassador for Madeira 2023.
She said she was “honoured” to be named an ambassador and added her support to the statement made by President Silva.
“It will be a unique experience with the presence of great swimmers, including former Olympians,” she said.
“I participated in (previous European Masters Championships), 2018 in Slovenia and in Rome 2022 but here in Funchal it will have a special flavour due to the presence of family and friends. May this championship be marked by unforgettable moments.”
David Gomes, Regional Director of Sports for Madeira, added; “The Government seeks decentralization and the promotion of major events in Madeira as a regional objective.
“Thus, it allows us to promote the best the region has to offer, such as the Olympic swimming pool complex, as well as the uniqueness of our sea.”
President of the Funchal City Council, Pedro Calado, was equally positive about the impact bringing an event like the European Short Course Swimming Championships could have on the region, as well as the long-term benefits of making Madeira a sporting hub for future competition.
“These events (together with the World Aquatics Open Water Cup in December) confirm the organizational excellence of the Region, the Federation and the Association,” he said.
“The city council would like to thank everyone involved in making these events possible. This is an investment that has a high value. We are now reaping the fruits we planted over decades.
“Susana Gomes is an example that allows us to pass on values to new generations. It proves that it is possible to invest in sporting and social development. Sport is worth it.”