(UPDATE SEP 2023 - APPROVED BY CONGRESS ON 16 SEP 2023)
LEN Congress 2023 Funchal Minutes
Summary of Minutes
2023 LEN European Aquatics Congress
Funchal (POR) 16 September 2023
The annual LEN Congress took place on the 16 September 2023 in Funchal, Madeira. 43 Member Federations were present to approved the proposal to change LEN’s name to European Aquatics, to approve a new Constitution and to establish an independent Integrity Unit. Congress delegates were presented with a number of activity reports and updates, as well as plans for a new Strategic Plan for the period 2024-2030. Here are the highlights:
Speech of World Aquatics President Husain Al Musallam
The President of World Aquatics, Captain Husain Al Musallam was present in Funchal and made a speech to Congress delegates. He mentioned the difficult times the sport has faced due to the Covid pandemic and the very hard work done to adjust and reshuffle the calendar accordingly. He briefly updated the delegates on the success of recently organised events and satisfaction with progress of those to come .
He underlined that after Singapore 2025 the world of Aquatics will return to a standard calendar of events. During the difficult period from 2020-2021 the entire Aquatic family worked together with the common objective of moving Aquatics forward and this effort has been rewarded, with very strong bids now arriving for the key events till 2031. He expressed his pride that our sport is now seen as the leading sport in the Olympics, that AQUA is leader in development and in providing scholarships to athletes, and that all this has been possible only because the Aquatics family is both strong and united.
Welcome speech of European Aquatics President Antonio Silva
President Silva thanked the local authorities of Madeira for their support as well as all Federations and delegates present.
He touched on some important items that the new leadership is focusing on: governance, corporate social responsibility (CSR), LEN rebranding, strong educational programmes.
He concluded his welcome speech stressing that the reason for being of the LEN leadership is to serve and support its Federations, working together towards common ambitious goals.
Activity Report Approved
A video summarising the activities of LEN covering the period from October 2022 to September 2023 is shown.
The LEN President then introduced the Activity Report and went through the key highlights of the various activities of LEN.
- Constant efforts have been made to have regular meetings:
- 7 Bureau meetings,
- 12 meetings of the LEN Executive
- Weekly meetings of LEN Officers
- Key Information available via email and shared on digital platforms.
- Established LEN integrity road map.
- Organised Energy saving webinar to tackle the energetics crisis.
- Created the LEN Diversity and Inclusion commission.
- Partnered with Gloria Sports Arena.
- Organising Learn to Swim Conference.
- Organised series of LEN coaching clinics.
- Introduced accreditation system for LEN approved laboratories and training centres.
- Supported EPSI Annual Conference for European sport innovation.
- Created new format for Masters Short Course swimming
- Created a LEN water polo strategy for growth and new rankings system.
- Met water polo representatives during LEN Champions League Final 8.
- Broadcast first ever livestreams of LEN water polo competition draws.
- Organised first ever U23 Swimming Championships in Dublin.
To conclude, the President summarised the progress of the Action Plan set up in 2022.
- 24 strategic objectives were set
- 12 were achieved, 12 are ongoing.
- New objectives/priorities have been established.
The Activity Report, including full details of the Action Plan, which had been previously circulated, was then unanimously approved.
Financial Report for 2022 Approved
LEN Treasurer, Andida Bouma (NED), took the floor to provide some further explanation on the 2022 financials. The complete Financial Report 2022 was previously shared with all Federations. She underlined fact that the financial year 2022 closed with a break-even result, as anticipated during the LEN Congress 2022 in Antalya (TUR).
She informed the delegates that an external audit had been carried out, and that the Auditors issued an unqualified audit opinion (clean report).
In terms of liquid reserves, the Treasurer confirmed the healthy position of the organisation, with reserves remaining stable at approx. 5 million euros since 2017. The treasurer then introduced Simon Renno (EST), LEN Audit Committee, who confirmed that the financial report is similar to the draft presented in Antalya.
Congress then approved the Financial and Audit reports for 2022.
Financial Outlook 2023-2024
The Treasurer explained that the financial year 2023 was expected to close at break even. This would be a different scenario to the large surplus that was anticipated in October 2022. The main reason for this was a delay in receiving expected income from major future events which had not been allocated yet
Nonetheless, it was forecast that the year 2024 would end with a significant surplus (since LEN will by then have allocated future major events for the period 2025-2028). This would permit LEN to regain the path of financial growth and investment..
General Secretary Noam Zwi took the floor to provide perspective on the proposed Constitutional changes, which were needed primarily to align with the new AQUA Constitution. He also provided insight into the name change from LEN – European Aquatics to European Aquatics and on the introduction in the Constitution of the European Aquatics Integrity Code.
It is clarified that there is no obligation for any National Federation to change its name. The proposed changes, shared with all Federations one month in advance of the Congress were voted on. All changes are approved, as presented. All votes are in favour, except for one abstention from Luxemburg.
Bureau Member Pia Johansen took the floor to explain the role, scope, and objectives of the newly drafted European Aquatics Integrity Code, which was previously shared with all Federations, and which mirrors the AQUA Code.
She described the structure of the Integrity Unit, comprised of an Integrity Council, Investigation Unit and an Adjudicatory Body. The introduction of the Integrity Code and creation of the Integrity Unit was a new chapter in European Aquatics, helping the organisation to achieve the highest standards in transparency, good governance and fairness.
Vice-President Christer Magnusson informed delegates that the Integrity Code had been included in the newly approved Constitution, and that from now on, Congress may assess and amend the Integrity Code. The General Secretary also clarified that the new Integrity Code will come into force only on the date of the next Congress in 2024, when the Integrity Unit will be elected.
Congress approved the new European Aquatics Integrity Code.
Confirmation of new Bureau Roles and Members
1st Vice President Josip Varvodic (CRO), requested that Congress delegates confirm new members to the LEN Bureau.
Following the resignation of Mr. Tomas Kucinskas (LTU) from the positions of LEN Treasurer and LEN Bureau Member, as per article C 11.2.6, the LEN Bureau filled these vacancies, and those created as a consequence, as indicated below.
Andida Bouma (NED) appointed as Treasurer.
Noam Zwi (ISR) appointed as General Secretary.
Arno Pajek (AUT) appointed as Vice President.
Norbert Madaras (HUN) appointed as Bureau Member.
Congress approved and confirmed these new positions/members.
Calendar of Events for 2024
The LEN Executive Director, Patrice Coste (FRA), took the floor to explain the process that led to the early allocation of the 2024 events, and how this process was a clear and transparent one.
He then gives the floor to the President for additional perspective on the still unallocated 2024 European Aquatics Championships. The President explained that advanced discussions were taking place with a couple of potential hosts regarding 2024 and that this would be announced within the coming weeks. It was also confirmed that the European Water Polo Championships 2026 would take place in Belgarde (SRB).
The Executive Director then informed the Congress that work on the 2025 calendar has already begun with the objective of announcing a complete calendar for 2025 by June 2024.
New Strategic Plan 2024-2030
The General Secretary and the Treasurer informed delegates that LEN had embarked on a collaboration with Deloitte Hungary Sports Group. In support of a new Strategic Plan aimed at developing and expanding Aquatics in Europe over the coming years. The Deloitte team were introduced to the Congress delegates and two working sessions were immediately set up to allow federation representatives to participate and contribute to the development of the future strategy of European Aquatics while they were in Funchal.
Two Congresses in 2024
In closing the Congress, the President Silva informed delegates that there would be two Congresses in 2024. The first Elective Congress will be held in Athens (GRE) on Saturday 27 January 2024 to elect the new Bureau, the Continental representative to the AQUA Bureau and the members of the new Integrity Unit.
Another ordinary Congress would be held later in the year, after the Olympic Games in Paris, most likely in September/October 2024.
Participants at LEN Congress – Funchal POR, 16 September 2023
Antonio Silva (POR) President
Noam Zwi (ISR) General Secretary
Andida Bouma (NED) Treasurer
Josip Varvodic (CRO) First Vice President
Marco Troll (GER) Vice-President
Christen Magnusson (SWE) Vice President
Gilles Sezionale (FRA) Vice President
Erkan Yalcin (TUR) Vice President
Kyriakos Giannopoulos (GRE) Vice President
Arno Pajek (AUT) Vice President
Graeme Marchbank (GBR) Member
Petr Ryska (CZE) Member
Ewen Cameron (SUI) Member
Fernando Carpena (ESP) Member
Rokur I Jakupsstovu (FAR) Member
Pia Johansen (DEN) Member
Liam Tancock (GBR) Member
Milos Mracevic (MNE) Member
Norbert Madaras (HUN) Member
Vanja Udovicic (SER) Member
Sandor Wladar (HUN) Member
Sami Wahlman (FIN) Member
Erik Van Heijningen (NED) Member
Sarah Keane (IRL) Member
Bartolo Consolo (SUI) Honotrary Life President
COMMITTEE CHAIRS & HONORARY MEMBERS
Ulla Lucenius (FIN) TASC Chair
Angel Moliner (ESP) TWPC Chair
Hordur Oddfridarson (ISL) TMaC Chair
Anna Sorokina (UKR) TDC Vice-Chair
Michael Geissbuehler (SUI) THDC Chair
Andrea Prayer (ITA) TOWSC Chair
Simon Renno (EST) Audit Committee
Naama Constantini (ISR) Medical
Liam Tancock (GBR) Athlete Committee Chair (also Bureau Member)
Sven Egil Folvik (NOR) Honorary Member
Kurt Mikkola (SWE) Honorary Member
Francis Luyce (FRA) Honorary Member
Jerzy Kowalski (POL) Honorary Member
Simon Rothwell (GBR) Honorary Member
Manfred Vater (GER) Honorary Member
Stefania Tudini (ITA) Honorary Member
TECHNICAL COMMITTEES & COMMISSIONS
Gary Stoops (GBR) TSC Member
Klaus Dibiasi (ITA) TDC Secretary
Marie Kavaklioglu (FRA) TASC Secretary
Grete Kugler (AUT) TMaC Secretary
Volkan Unutmaz TOWSC Secretary
Jon Rudd (IRL) Coaches Committee Co-Chair
Tiago Barbosa (POR) Education & Coaching Commission
Aldo Costa (POR) Learn to Swim Commission
Boro Strumbelj (SLO) Learn to Swim Commission
Patrice Coste (FRA) Executive Director
Gianni Minervini (ITA) Deputy Executive Director
Apostolos Tsagkarakis (GRE) Aquatics Director
Renato Zivkovic (CRO) Water Polo Director
Aida Sehic (CRO) Water Polo Manager
Farouk Ben-Jeddi (FRA) Sports Manager
Anna Serova (RUS) Sports Assistant
Bradwick Gampfer (SUI) Accounting & Administrative Assistant
Nick Davies (GBR) Communications and Media Director
Andreas Georgiou (GBR) Media Team
LOC / FPN:
Joau Campos, Barbara Oliveira, Susana Castro, André Rodrigues, Teresa Maria Almeida Dias
GUESTS, PARTNERS & SPONSORS
World Aquatics: Husain Al Musallam (AQUA President)
Ahmad Al Asabi (assistant to the President)
Eurovision: Andreas Aristodemou
Fluidra: Palmira Medina, Francesc Garcia, Jorge Fanlo
Deloitte HUN: Csilla Gerscak, Gabor Hosszu, Adam Fodor, Istvan Fazekas
Malmsten: Gustav Eriksson, Joowon Lee
Kap7: Bradley Schumacher
Swiss Timing: Alain Zobrist, Ivan Khodabakhsh, Laszlo Szakadati
Microplus: Mauro Cedrani
Com’Over David Rouger
Com’Over Lucie Lapierre
WP Australia: Donald Cameron
OBSERVERS FROM PARTICIPATING FEDERATIONS
Laszlo Szogi (HUN)
Szabolcs birkas-Kovats (HUN)
Andras Becsky (HUN)
Aisling Mckeever (IRL)
Nemanja Marijan (SRB)
Milena Neskovic (SRB)
Avelino Silva (Presidente da Associação de Natação da Madeira)
MEMBER FEDERATIONS & DELEGATES:
Kim Van Malderen
Johan Martin Thorsteinsson
Selim Ferit Kubat