At its meeting in Vienna (Austria), the LEN, “Ligue Européene de Natation), the governing body of swimming in Europe, announced on Friday that the 2017 European Short Course Swimming Championships will be held in Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. On the following day, the officials have approved the Activity and the Financial Reports on 2014, as well as the provisional budget for 2015 – which includes growing prize-money pots and newly introduced travel assistance for the national federations to show that a new chapter has begun in European Aquatics.
LEN President Paolo Barelli praised European athletes for making the Old Continent the best one on the cumulative medal table of the 2015 World Championships in Kazan. Europe captured as many titles (33) as the Americas and Asia combined and was by far the best regarding the overall number of medals (103). President Barelli hailed the efforts of the national federations and thanked the continent’s top aquatic competitors for their magnificent performances.
Mr. Barelli also underlined that for the first time ever, a prize-money was offered for the medalists at the European Diving Championships in Rostock, as well as travel assistance for the participating federations (amounting € 100.000 about 113.000 USD). It will be an incentive for the participants of the short course swimming Europeans in December that on the one hand the prize-money pot will significantly rise and on the other hand the nations will get travel assistance (€ 500.000 (570.000 USD) combined) – all this has led to a record participation of already 46 nations so far.
For 2016, LEN can offer € 1,100,000 (1.250.000 USD) in prize money and in travel assistance at its two major events, the European Aquatics Championships and the European Water Polo Championships.
LEN Treasurer Tamas Gyarfas presented details: more details on the improving finances. The incomes from the fees paid by the future organizers are substantial, LEN can rely on a much more lucrative TV contract with EBU than before and a substantial contribution came from the host of the 1st European Games. The overall balance of the LEN accounts shows 20-times higher amount than in November 2012, when the current LEN Bureau came into power.
The Executive Director Paulo Frischknecht described the advantages of moving the LEN headquarters: After being situated in London, Rome and most recently Luxembourg, the LEN has found a new home in Nyon, Switzerland. Nyon is located in the Swiss Canton of Vaud where 55 other major sports governing bodies are located, including FINA and the IOC. In his report, Frischknecht said that new staff members were hired and the strengthened LEN Office’s efforts also contributed a lot to the organization’s success, just as the fact that, registration-wise, LEN has become constraint-free both administratively and legally.
LEN General Secretary David Sparkes saw an advantage that the LEN now could plan for the long-term as its major events had already been allocated even for 2018 and the first interests to stage the 2020 editions of the European Championships were also on the table. Some future organizers shared their respective plans with the delegates and observers: Belgrade 2016 (water polo), London 2016 (aquatics), Barcelona 2018 (water polo), Glasgow 2018 (aquatics) and Netanya 2015 (short-course). They all held great presentations, just as the next European host of the World Championships, Budapest
Portions of this article came from LEN’s official press release.