Masters Committee discuss “fantastic” 2022 and “exciting” future

Images of Roma 2022 European Masters Championships – LEN / Simone Castrovillari

The LEN Technical Masters Committee (TMC) met in Prague, from 20-21 January, to reflect on a “hugely successful” Roma 2022 European Masters Championships and set out ambitious plans for future growth.

Representatives from each of the masters aquatic disciplines – artistic swimming, diving, open water swimming, swimming and water polo – were present in Czech Republic and able to contribute to the wide-ranging discussions.

Roma 2022 saw over 5000 athletes from 38 nations compete across 302 competition programmes during 12 action-packed days in Italy.

“We learned lots of lessons and masters athletes had a fantastic experience,” said LEN Technical Masters Committee Chairman Hördur Oddfrídarson.

“Having masters competitions in the same venue as the elite competition the week afterwards and in facilities (like the Foro Italico) which are historically linked to lots of achievements in aquatics though the decades, was a very positive.”

The ambition now is to not only match that level at future European Masters Championships, but to also explore the potential for more frequent competitions, for each of the disciplines.

“The goal is to put up the numbers of competition which people can go to as masters and allow them to experience the same good competition and facilities but also the environment and spirt that we see at (major) championships,” continued Oddfrídarson.

“The goal of the committee is to put together this vision and to look at how we can get more people into this masters lifestyle by perhaps adding some education and training around these competitions too.”

The TMC members were joined by LEN President Antonio Silva, new LEN executive director Patrice Coste and LEN Sports Manager Farouk Ben Jeddi, while Jana Vidlarova attended on behalf of the hosts – Czech Swimming Federation.

She also, together with Ulla Lucenius, advised the Masters Committee on behalf of the Artistic Swimming community.

“We reviewed the LEN Masters rules as well as the results of the committee’s working groups, discussed how the committee could be better connected with the Masters in Europe and laid out lines for the future,” reflected LEN CEO Patrice Coste.

“Many new and exciting ideas were presented and the committee members agreed to contribute to the increased progress of Masters within LEN.”

LEN Sport Manager Farouk Ben Jeddi was also very enthusiastic about what he heard and witnessed during the group discussions in Prague.

“I could once again witness the dedication and passion of all the members who, not only identified key learnings from last year’s Masters events, but also made proposals to improve the organisation of next year’s events and further develop the discipline,” he said.

“I look forward to receiving the final proposals and continue exchanging with the committee to see which proposals can already be implemented in 2023.”

The Technical Masters Committee meeting in Prague also saw Harold Mattla officially take over as Masters Recorder, succeeding Frantisek Sthol, who managed the registry for the last 32 years.

“We thank Frantisek very much for his exceptionally good work, while we welcome Harold to work,” added LEN Technical Masters Committee Chairman Hördur Oddfrídarson.