LEN joins European Games 2015

Swimming, diving, synchronised swimming and water polo will be part of the 2015 Euro Games programme in Baku, according to the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the parties on Friday in Rome and announced by LEN on Monday. LEN President Paolo Barelli, EOC President Patrick Hickey and Azad Rahimov, Minister of Youth and Sport of the Republic of Azerbaijan signed the Memorandum of Understanding on the inclusion of four aquatic disciplines to the programme of the European Games 2015.

This will be the first edition of the Games which will be held in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan. Europe’s first multisport event will feature a handful of Olympic disciplines and after long negotiations LEN agreed to become part of the great summer show. Swimming, diving, synchronised swimming and water polo will be contested during the fortnight. The hosts cover the travel and accommodation expenses of all participants so competing at the European Games doesn’t mean any extra cost for the LEN member federations.

“It is always a special feeling to be present whenever something new, something really interesting is born,” LEN President Paolo Barelli said after signing the memorandum in Rome. “The European Games is a great initiative, and besides offering exceptionally good conditions for the participants it also demonstrates the unity of Europe and underlines our continent’s leading role in the world of sport. Aquatics is one of the most successful sports on Earth, our disciplines are essential part of the programme of such a multi-sport event. LEN is proud to be present in Azerbaijan where our athletes can come up with their best efforts among perfect racing conditions at state-of-the-art venues. We are convinced of the success of this new event but we are already looking forward to the second edition and the improvement of the learning experience we got from this valuable initiative.”

The organisers are doing their utmost to stage a memorable event. After the latest site visit in Baku, Patrick Hickey, President of the European Olympic Committee stated: “BECOG has reached a new level of detail in its planning for these historic first European Games relating to the sports competition schedule and venues. This will pave the way for planning to proceed to more advanced stages of venue and sports operations as well as accommodation, transport and other core Games sectors and services for athletes, spectators, visitors and other groups in readiness for the Games.”

The organisers expect some 6,000 athletes (from which 1200 are from aquatics) from around 50 National Territories who can earn medals in 223 events. The aquatic disciplines will feature the best junior athletes in all four disciplines who will compete for the European titles in Baku on 12-28 June 2015.

Pictured from left to right: Mr Azad Rahimov, Minister of Youth and Sport of the Republic of Azerbaijan; Mr Patrick Hickey, EOC President and Mr Paolo Barelli, LEN President.

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