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Dear members of the Gymnastics family!
The competition calendar of European Gymnastics for 2020 had initially no difference with the calendar of the previous years. We all were focused on the preparation for the European Championships and other continental events. But the global pandemic changed our plans. As a result, the competition season usually starting in spring, was launched only at the end of November.
Fortunately, we managed to hold this year’s first event. It was the European Championships in Rhythmic Gymnastics taken place in Kyiv (UKR) on November 26-29. Behind the successfully organised competitions, of course, there were great efforts made by European Gymnastics, the Ukrainian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation and its Local Organising Committee (LOC). All the conditions of Regulations issued by us concerning the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 during the event, were willingly fulfilled by the LOC strongly supported by the Ukrainian government. We all understand that the Organisers have a number of administrative and technical rules to follow during the organisation of events. These Regulations came as an additional burden causing extra work. I express my sincere gratitude to the team led by Ms. Irina Deriugina - President of the Ukrainian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation - for the great job carried out at the highest level.
I congratulate the medalists of the events. I think all gymnasts participating in the competition deserve congratulations for their strong willpower and eagerness to compete regardless of the complicated situation. Among the Federations with a strong history in gymnastics, there were also ones who are at a development stage and have limited financial budgets. It was a pleasure for me to see how they all wished to take part. This is the power of Gymnastics, which prevailed regardless the difficulties.
Prior to these Europeans, I had several meetings and discussions last month.
One of them took place with the representatives of the affiliated Federations of European Gymnastics within the framework of the virtual Extraordinary General Assembly on November 18. As per results of polling, it was decided to postpone the 29th Congress initially scheduled for December 2021 to December 2 & 3, 2022. This decision was a consequent result of all the postponements and systematic changes due to the global pandemic.
After the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, at one of the Executive Committee meetings of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), it was decided that the FIG new Codes of Points in gymnastics disciplines will be valid from 2022 instead of 2021. Thus, the current Olympic Cycle will last 5 years this time. The FIG Intercontinental Judges’ Courses in gymnastics discipline have also been moved closer to November next year. From 8 Technical Committees in gymnastics disciplines, the candidates to 7 of them should have valid FIG Brevet 1 or 2 according to our Statutes. As each Committee consists of 7 persons, it makes 49 people in total. If we held the Congress in 2021, the results of the Courses may not be known by the time when our Congress is held.
On the other hand, the FIG postponed its electoral 83rd Congress for a year (Antalya / TUR / November 5-7, 2021). We would have had only four weeks after the FIG Congress if we kept the original dates. Our affiliated Federations would not know which candidates would be elected to the FIG Authorities as there is a requirement to submit the candidatures to our Authorities 5 months before the Congress. All these processes are correlated, and it would be difficult for the Federations to plan whom to nominate for the FIG and whom as European Gymnastics Authorities.
During the Assembly, another issue on the Agenda was the suspension of the Polish Gymnastics Federation according to point c) of Article 8 of the Statutes of European Gymnastics. As per results of the voting, the Federation was suspended with a right to be reinstated after the fulfillment of their contractual obligations in relation to the 2019 European Championships in Artistic Gymnastics held in Szczecin (POL).
On November 18, we also had a video conference with the Executive Committee members of European Gymnastics where we approved the 2021 budget and decided to open a call for hosts for some of our events in 2022, 2023, 2024.
Another video conference I joined was the FIG Executive Committee meeting (November 23). After the discussions, the electoral FIG Congress was moved by one week due to the fact that the World Championships both in Artistic and Rhythmic Gymnastics allocated to Japan will be held in the second half of October 2021. Dates for the Test Events to be held in Japan were also defined, along with approved lists of specialists awarded with the Honorary Judge’s and Coach’s Diplomas and etc.
Two more Europeans await us in December. Our European Gymnastics team has set out for Mersin (TUR) where the Men’s (December 9-13) and Women’s (December 17-20) Artistic Gymnastics Championships will take place. The Turkish Gymnastics Federation and its LOC are working hard to present the competitions organised at high level. I am confident, that, in Mersin, I will have the same feelings as I had in Kyiv – pride and admiration.
See you in Turkey!