FIG makes important decisions in its 82nd Baku Congress
Baku hosted the 82nd Congress of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) for the first time on December 2-3.
About 300 representatives from 115 countries participated in the Congress, which is FIG’s highest body in accordance with the FIG Charter.
On the first day, the Congress heard reports of the FIG president and technical coordinator, as well as presidents of the technical committees on various types of gymnastics. Then the heads of the continental unions that are FIG members delivered reports.
Before the beginning of the Congress, the FIG Presidential Commission held a meeting on November 29, and the FIG Executive Committee convened from November 30 to December 1.
Azerbaijan’s Minister of Youth and Sports Azad Rahimov and FIG President Morinari Watanabe delivered speeches made opening remarks to the Congress on December 2.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Congress, Azad Rahimov said it is not by coincidence that such a high level event is taking place in Baku. It is a great honor for Baku to be the venue for this Congress.
“Baku has evolved as a global host of prestigious events. As you may know, we hosted the First European Games in 2015, Fourth Islamic Solidarity Games in 2017, the World Chess Olympiad, the annual Formula 1 Grand Prix, Special Olympics Youth Forum, WADA Executive Committee and Foundation Board meetings just last month and many other significant international events,” said the minister.
Rahimov said it is with great pride that Baku is home of this Congress.
“In 2002, the First Vice-President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva was elected as the President of Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation. This gave a great boost to the beautiful sport of gymnastics in our country and the sport has achieved its deserved development level. Subject to the strong operation and activity of the Federation, huge interest and attraction of the population to gymnastics has been realised, new infrastructure has been created and successful personnel reforms have been accomplished,” he said.
At the same time Azerbaijan hosted in 2017 the Council Meeting of International Federation of Gymnastics. We have hosted several World Cups, European Championships in different gymnastics disciplines and moreover, it is planned to host World and Europe championships in rhythmic gymnastics, Europe championship and world cups in different disciplines next year, added Rahimov.
The minister said it is a real and illustrative example that Azerbaijani government places a special importance on development of sports, particularly to gymnastics.
“We assure you that Azerbaijan will continue its activities in this area. We are sure that 82nd Congress meeting in Baku will be a platform for sharing new innovative ideas and evolve the vision of gymnastics - the ideas and vision that will help to increase the role and level of gymnastics promotion worldwide," he noted.
In turn, Morinari Watanabe expressed gratitude to the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation for organizing world cups, championships at a high level.
“We appreciate the work done by Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation,” he said.
Speaking on the sidelines, Watanabe also noted that President of Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation (AGF) Mehriban Aliyeva supports gymnastics not only in Azerbaijan, but all over the world.
The FIG president said that AGF has organized many competitions and meetings on a high level and everybody visits Baku with great pleasure.
“Gymnastics is very strong in Azerbaijan and we can see it every time we come here,” the FIG president underlined.
He reminded that Baku will host Gymnastics European Championships in 2019, adding that the capital of Azerbaijan is capable to hold any competition.
Watanabe added that all sports should be spectacular, not just gymnastics. He further stressed that the main goal of the Federation is to make gymnastics easier for people to understand and to watch.
Currently FIG has 147 membercountries out of 192 countries of the world and the accession of new members is on the agenda, Watanabe said.
Noha Abou Shabana, vice-president of the FIG Technical Committee, said that Baku has always been famous for its excellent and flawless organization of international competitions.
Noting that Baku has held various competitions many times, Abou Shabana said that next year the capital of Azerbaijan will host the world rhythmic gymnastics championship. "We look forward to it," she added.
Vice-President of the Gymnastics Federation of Ukraine Irina Deryugina emphasized that the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation is the best for its organization of work.
“The fact that the former secretary general of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation Farid Gaibov became president of the European Gymnastics Union is the best evidence of this," she said.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva do their best to develop sports, and this is a very big plus for Azerbaijan, Deryugina told Trend on the sidelines of the event.
"When president heads the National Olympic Committee, there is an understanding of the proper development of sports in the country," she added.
Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation is one of the strongest federations in the world, Rakan Abdullah Alfeheide, managing director of the Gymnastics Federation of Saudi Arabia, said on the sidelines of the 82nd FIG Congress.
He also reminded that sport competitions have been successfully held in Baku in recent years referring to the World Cup in artistic gymnastics in March 2018 and Islamic Games of 2017. Parkour is planned to be included in the list of gymnastic disciplines in 2021, he added.
The quarterly financial plan of the structure was approved on the last day of the Congress. During the meeting, various proposals put forward before the beginning of the Congress by FIG’s governing bodies, including the member federations, were discussed. The meeting participants also discussed changes to the rules and the Charter of the international structure, admission of new members to FIG, as well as exclusion of some federations from the structure. The venue of the next Congress was determined as well.
Lisa Worthmann, director general of the European Union of Gymnastics (UEG) said that Azerbaijan is a very important partner, because it always holds events at the highest level. Then she added that Baku will host two European Championships (Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championships and Aerobic Gymnastics European Championships) next year, adding that two cooperation meetings will be held here as well. Further, Worthmann highly appreciated the work of UEG President Farid Gayibov.
“We appreciate the work the Federation has done, because not every federation can organize such events,” said Naomi Valenzo, president of the Pan-American Gymnastics Union and member of the Executive Committee of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG), mentioning that Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation is very strong both technically and economically.
The decisions made at the 82nd Congress of the International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG) in Baku will give an even bigger impetus to the development of the gymnastics, said Altay Hasanov, Vice-President of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation.
Hasanov stressed that gymnastics in Azerbaijan has been rapidly developing over the last 10 years.
“The Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation has gained big experience in organizing prestigious events,” he said. “For the first time such a prestigious event as the Congress of the International Gymnastics Federation, rather than a sports competition, is being held in Baku.”
“As you know, a meeting of the Council of the International Federation of Gymnastics was held in Baku in May 2017,” he added. “As the guests stressed, everything is being held successfully. As always, our Federation has organized everything at a high level.”
“I believe the decisions made at the Congress will give an even bigger impulse to the development of the gymnastics,” he said.
Hasanov reminded that the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships and the World Cup tournaments in other types of gymnastics will be held in Baku in 2019.
“That is, the schedule of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation is tight, but we, as always, will cope with everything,” he added.
Hasanov said Azerbaijan has already had its say in the gymnastics and its victories are ahead.
“The organizational skills of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation are appreciated highly,” he said. “In 2017, our Federation was again recognized by FIG as one of the best federations.”
“As you know, 10 years ago rhythmic gymnastics was the most developed type of the gymnastics and we attached great importance to it. Then, before the First European Games in Baku, a decision was made to restore and develop all six types of the gymnastics,” Hasanov said. “From this point of view, we have some difficulties because the staff is small; we are looking for coaches. Moreover, I believe that gradually we will cope with all this and, as we have said, our high results, our victories are still ahead.”
Decisions made at the Congress will later be made public by FIG.
Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation (AGF), which was founded in 1956, has experienced revival since 2002 and the renewed federation lifted this popular sport to a new level. Currently, AGF comprises seven gymnastics disciplines recognized by the International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG).
FIG praises the AGF for organizing world cups, championships at a high level.