The number of candidates in the running for European Swimming Federation (LEN) President has indeed been confirmed as two, with a candidacy competition between incumbent Paolo Barelli and challenger Erik van Heijningen set to begin. The LEN has confirmed that no additional applicants have stepped forward.
We reported last month that van Heijningen, current Royal Dutch Swimming Federation (KNZB) President, had thrown his hat in the ring for the role LEN President, ready to stand against Barelli, the former Olympic swimmer who has been in the role since 2012.
A member of the LEN-Bureau since 2006, van Heijningen has been in a Vice President role since 2008. Van Heijningen was the acting Chairman of the FINA Doping Panel from 2009 to 2013 and is a member of the Executive Board of the Province of South-Holland in his non-swim-related professional life.
Van Heijningen’s own candidacy website points to a vision of the future, which “focuses on ensuring that Europe remains a leading force in and out of the pool. This is why my vision is built on three key pillars: Progress, Empowerment and Partnerships.”
Further, the Dutchman says that the LEN’s success is dependent on a “positive internal culture and transparent administrative process.”
He indicates that one of his first actions as LEN President would be to “devise a long-term strategic plan, including the introduction of good-governance principles across all LEN.”
With the application process now closed, the election is slated for May, immediately before the European Championships begin.