FIG makes im­por­tant de­ci­sions in its 82nd Baku Congress

Azer News - - Front Page - By Le­man Mam­madova

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.

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