After its Bureau Meeting last weekend in Malta, the Liguee Europeenne de Natation (LEN), the governing body for aquatic sports in Europe, has announced a €1.5 million ($1.8 million) in “prize money for the athletes and contributions for the National Federations” in 2018. 2018 will play host to the European Aquatics Championships in Glasgow (swimming, diving, synchro, open water) and in Barcelona (water polo), and at other competitions like the open water swimming European Cup, the water polo Europa Cup, and the Champions League.
“We are ready to redistribute more and more to our athletes and the National Federations” LEN President Paolo Barelli said at the year’s first Bureau meeting held in the Grand Hotel Excelsior in Valletta (MLT).
Other takeaways from the LEN release after the meeting:
- 34,500 tickets were sold for the 2017 European Short-Course Swimming Championships in December, which is the record for that event and more than the 25,000 ticket target. That comes out to, on average, 3,450 tickets per session in the newly-opened 12,500 seat Royal Arena in Copenhagen.
- LEN claims that media coverage of the event reached over 290 million people, and that the event’s Facebook page had 1,049,890 unique visitors. They plan to publicize more of these kinds of statistics for future events.
- Details for the new Europa Cup water polo event for 2018 were announced. The tournament will be open to all interested European nations and will qualify 4 teams for the next edition of the European Championships. LEN is also discussing making the event the continental qualifier for the 2019 World League Super Finals.
- LEN discussed and agreed to “explore the possibilities” of expanding water polo rosters to 15 players for major multi-day events, though teams would still have to name 13 players for each match 2 hours prior to its start. Olympic rosters are set at 13.
- New age group events across LEN’s disciplines have been approved: a U15 European Water Polo Championship will launch in 2019, while a 10th medal event as been added for the Junior European Artistic Swimming (Synchronized Swimming) Championships.
- New Policies and Procedures in finances were approved. Approval was also given for the 2018 budget, and the 2017 auditor reports (internal and external). We’ve asked to see these reports, but LEN hasn’t yet responded.