Pleased to declare that my FIG presidency election campaign continues at its full extent - Farid Gayibov

5 October 2021 11:12 (UTC+04:00)

By Trend

Regarding my candidacy for the presidency of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), I am pleased to declare that my election campaign continues at its full extent, Farid Gayibov, European Gymnastics President said, Trend reports citing his statement.

"In September, our offline meetings were resumed after a long interval. During the pandemic, we held our European Championships in 2020 with an aim to retain our events and give an opportunity to our athletes to compete in safe conditions, overcoming the challenges that we had to face. However, we met to discuss our administrative issues face-to-face in Lausanne (SUI) only on September 11 and 12, 2021.

Frankly speaking, there is a big difference between online and offline meetings. This time, we had lively discussions, especially, when it came to the topic of strategy for the new cycle in the agenda...

But, first, I would like to emphasise that we have achieved our goal we pursued for the the last 4 years. We increased our funds thanks to the contracts we concluded with our partners – SmartScoring, Eurovision and apparatus suppliers (Gymnova, Janssen Fritsen, Spieth & Eurotramp). The Organisers of the European Championships considerably benefitted from these contracts. As a result, an interest in hosting of our events has consequently increased. Thus, we succeeded to allocate the events even for 2024.

... And, now, bearing in mind all the achievements and stable development, having funds to invest to other projects, we deliberated on our new strategy for the next few years. We clearly defined for ourselves plans and tasks which we need to finalise at our next meeting.

During our September meeting, the Technical Regulations for 2022 and 2023, Accreditation Rules, Medical Rules and other regulations were approved. We also discussed the preparation for the European Gymnastics Member Federations meeting in Frankfurt to be held tomorrow.

Impressed by the meetings and our fruitful discussions with partners on our further cooperation in Lausanne, I travelled to Pesaro (ITA).

This city is known as a frequent host of gymnastics events. And, this time, they opened their doors to the European Gymnastics family members for 3 consecutive weeks. First, the European Championships in Aerobic Gymnastics were held (September 17 -19) followed by the European Age Group Competitions (September 23-26) and the European Championships (September 29 – October 3) in Acrobatic Gymnastics.

It was remarkable to see that the number of participating countries at the Europeans in both Aerobic and Acrobatic Gymnastics was almost the same as we had at this year’s World Championships in these disciplines. It can be associated with several factors and reasons including the global pandemic. This gives us a postitive sign that we gradually return to normal life. I congratulate all the winners of the European events. Thanks to the great work carried out by the Italian Gymnastics Federation, its Local Organising Committee in close cooperation with the Technical Committees and staff of the European Gymnastics, we had successful events. I am sure that the Gymnastics family will be happy to return to Italy to participate at future events planned to be held here in near future.

September 13th marked the day of the passing of Bruno Grandi, who lead the FIG for 20 years. A remarkable man with strong leadership and love for our sport. We had the honour to visit his family and his place of rest to pay our respects and to show that we will always remember him as a friend, a leader and for all that he contributed to Gymnastics.

As many of you know, last month I was appointed as the Minister of Youth and Sport of the Republic of Azerbaijan. I am very grateful for all the kind messages and warm wishes I received from all of you. I think this is a good stimulus for our Gymnastics Family that one of its members became the Minister of Sport, and I see it as a testament to the work we have done together to improve and popularise our sport both on a national and international level.

Regarding my candidacy for the presidency of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), I am pleased to declare that my election campaign continues at its full extent. Following my appointment as Minister, I continued my engagements and responsibilities as the President of the European Gymnastics, attending all meetings, championships and Gymnastics events. It will be the same in case I am successful at the FIG elections. As we all know, the activity of a President or a member of the Executive Committee within European Gymnastics or the FIG, is based on voluntary principals and should not be affected by the full-time jobs that we all have. In my case, I see only positive impacts that could affect Gymnastics, and I am determined to contribute for the benefit of our sport, to build policies and strategies for the progress of our disciplines, involve right partners to ensure overall development, and find new tools contributing to the prosperity of the affiliated Federations. We can achieve all we set out for when we unite our ideas and steer our ship together as one.

The Golden Age Festival in Rethymno (GRE) started yesterday. The Hellenic Gymnastics Federation deserves special thanks as they made every effort to organise the events postponed from 2020. This sport event is unique in a way that it is inclusive for people aged 50 and over. One of a kind in the world!

Before the Congress in November, the World Championships in Artistic Gymnastics (October 18-24) and Rhythmic Gymnastics (October 27-31) will be hosted by Kitakyushu (JPN). Unfortunately, as a FIG Executive Committee member I will not be able to attend these Worlds due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

It has been a challenging year for our gymnasts following the pandemic, the Olympic Games and all the hard work and stress that goes with it. You deserve more than just praise, and I strongly believe that this is something that we should start working on. I have mentioned this several times that our gymnasts deserve more recognition globally for all the hard work they go through, and I believe that ‘Gymnasts Of the Year Awards’ and the increase of the prize fund at competitions would be a great place to start giving back.

I would like to wish success to all the gymnasts taking part at the last major events of the year," he wrote.

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