Dear members of Gymnastics family!
I am confident you all will agree that annual International Tournaments organised in the European countries not only contribute to the perfection of routines prior to major events but also facilitate to the establishment and continuation of friendly relations between the gymnasts, delegation members and Federations. One of these traditional competitions is Baltic Hoop in Rhythmic Gymnastics in Riga (LAT). This year, it was held on March 3 & 4. I was pleased to attend the event on invitation of Mr. Janis Cakstins, President of the Latvian Gymnastics Federation, which celebrates its 70th Anniversary in 2018. Within the framework of my visit to Latvia I also watched the competitions of the annual Tiger Cup International Tournament in Artistic Gymnastics as well as visiting the training basis of the Latvian National Team in the different Gymnastics disciplines.
The official opening of a state-of-the-art gymnastics facility – the Palace of Rhythmic Gymnastics- took place in Minsk with the participation of the President of the Republic of Belarus, Mr. Lukashenko, on March 6. I was pleased to take part in this ceremony which was a very important event for Belarussian Gymnastics. The support of the government plays an important role in the development of sports disciplines. Along with embracing the Belarussian Rhythmic Gymnastics National Team with all necessary conditions, I believe, this Palace will open its doors to many gymnasts from abroad. This is the very point when gymnasts and their coaches have an opportunity to communicate, exchange their experience and contribute to the spread of friendly relations across gymnastics facilitating its development in Europe.
A friendly atmosphere was also observed at the FIG Artistic Gymnastics Individual Apparatus World Cup held in Baku on March 15-18. There, I had the opportunity to meet with some coaches and hear their good ideas. Namely, these ideas should be promoted for discussions among UEG Authorities as they come directly from the gym and are very essential for the development of gymnastics. When we say the UEG, it is important to think of all its 50 affiliated Federations and they should take an active part. Not only at the UEG Congresses but at every possible opportunity! These ideas will be discussed at the UEG office, Executive Committee & Technical Committee meetings in June and we will come back to you with new decisions.
On March 22, the Presidential Board met at the UEG headquarters. Following the FIG example, we made the decision to hold the UEG Executive Committee meeting, scheduled for October 5 & 6, in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. This will be a good opportunity for all EC Members to familiarise themselves with the gymnastics conditions in this country where the national federation is working on a small budget and faces difficulties impeding its progress. The further successful development of European Gymnastics implies progress of its gymnastics disciplines in the 50 affiliated Federations by supporting less developed countries and creating favourable conditions for training in all gymnastics disciplines.
Looking ahead, we will open our season with the European Championships in Trampoline, Double Mini-Trampoline and Tumbling, in Baku from 12 to 15 April. I am confident that with the joint efforts of the UEG TC, its staff and the Local Organising Committee, we will have exciting competitions of high-flying gymnasts. And our Partner Smart Scoring is always here to support us with its innovative ideas. It has recently introduced new site (gymtv.online) where gymnastics fans can watch online the Europeans’ events, simultaneously scrolling down start lists and seeing live results!
Our power is in communication, support, friendship and openness to innovations.
Let’s fly higher, spreading friendship in the gymnastics sky.