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Minister of Youth and Sports appeals to gymnasts

12 December 2023 18:44 (UTC+04:00)
Minister of Youth and Sports appeals to gymnasts

Azerbaijan Minister of Youth and Sports, European Gymnastics President Farid Gayibov has appealed to gymnasts, Azernews reports citing European Gymnastics.

The letter reads as follows:

"Dear Gymnastics Family,

In November, we welcomed the Aerobic gymnasts to the floor in the Turkish coastal resort Antalya where we held our last competition of the year: the 13th European Championships in Aerobic Gymnastics, from 17 to 19 November.

This event was our second major competition held in Antalya this year, after the European Championships in Artistic Gymnastics in April. Yes, the Turkish Gymnastics Federation has been very active this year. The Federation and its Local Organising Committee (LOC) successfully organised two Continental Championships within a year. Congratulations!

Aerobic gymnasts from 21 countries gathered in Antalya to define the continental Champions. A great atmosphere reigned inside the competition hall. The high level of the athletes’ performance made us happy. I congratulate all the participants with their good performances, and the prize-winners with their medals.

After this competition, I set out for Dhaka (BAN) where we had the Executive Committee (EC) meeting of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) on November 22-24. Since 2017, the FIG holds its EC meetings in countries where gymnastics is under development. The Bangladesh Gymnastics Federation organized the meeting very well. The hospitality, with which we met in this country, was incredible. Thanks to the efforts of the President of the Federation Mr. Ahmed Sk. Bashir, the meetings we had were very fruitful.

The EC meetings were filled with discussions and important decisions. We defined a host for the 41st World Championships in Rhythmic Gymnastics in 2025: Rio de Janeiro (BRA). If we go back, from 2010 the Worlds were mainly hosted in Europe except 2021. This time the destination is Latin America. The World Championships in Acrobatic Gymnastics in Israel were moved from 2024 to 2026 due to the Israel-Hamas war. The bidding process for the 2024 edition was reopened. We also approved some changes to the Artistic Gymnastics Apparatus World Cup Rules, the judges’ selection for the Artistic and Trampoline Gymnastics competitions of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, nationality changes, etc.

On the eve of our year’s last event, the 30th European Gymnastics Congress in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, we had our own EC meeting. We approved the changes in our Technical Regulations and a call for several events of our events in 2025, 2026 & 2027.

Representatives of 45 countries participated in this Congress. I was pleased to see my colleague, Minister of Youth and Sports of Bulgaria Mr. Dimitar Iliev and Sofia Mayor Vassil Terziev at the official Opening of the Congress. I express my gratitude to the Bulgarian Gymnastics Federation, led by its President Krasimir Dunev (European Champion, World and Olympic medallist), and Secretary General Iordan Iovtchev (European and World Champion and multiple Olympic medallist) for the great organization, facilitating the smooth running of the event.

After one year of hard work on the Strategy of European Gymnastics, we presented it at the Congress. It was developed by our EC members in close cooperation with the office. I am very grateful to each of them for the eagerness and commitment they showed while working on it. After the presentation, the member Federations’ representatives expressed their positive opinion followed by discussions on the details. We are always talking about the problems we all know. But sometimes it is difficult to find ways of solving these problems. We do have difficulties, but they can all be solved with the optimistic approach. The majority of the Congress attendees liked these goals. The main thing is to define our priorities. We will certainly continue to work on it, and, by implementing certain projects, we will achieve our aims.

Within the framework of the Congress, the voting resulted in non-allowance of Russian and Belarusian athletes to return to the competitions. We approved the changes to the Statutes, reports of our Authorities, allocation of our next Congress to the Czech Gymnastics Federation, etc.

The Congress distinguished itself with interesting discussions. We had experienced guests to speak about the future of Gymnastics. I would like to express my gratitude to FIG Secretary General Mr. Nicolas Buompane, President of European Aquatics Mr. Antonio Silva and British Gymnastics CEO Mrs. Sarah Powell for their presentations and active participation. I had a separate meeting with the President of European Athletics Mr. Dobromir Karamarinov where we discussed the future of European sport and the cooperation between these sport disciplines. We also had interesting presentations which I am sure would have been useful for the Congress participants.

That week was quite productive. We met each other, spoke about plans. Influenced by a sincere and warm atmosphere, the delegates could easily express their views. Of course, we also spoke about the difficulties we have. There is nothing to be concerned until we are united to achieve the goals that we all clearly see.

With my compliments,

Dr. Farid Gayibov

European Gymnastics President

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