The President's Note N° 2 2018

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The President's Note N° 2 2018

February 8, 2018

By Farid Gayibov, UEG President

Dear Friends,

“Innovation” is the 2018 slogan for the world Gymnastics community set by the President of the International Federation of Gymnastics (FIG), Mr. Morinari Watanabe. Europe, through the European Union of Gymnastics (UEG) – its governing body and the biggest of the four Gymnastics Continental Unions – is definitely open to innovations in gymnastics.

In view of this, I talked about new disciplines with Mr. Watanabe on January 23 during our first meeting since I started to lead the UEG and presided its first Executive Committee (EC) meeting. After interesting discussions, we are both confident that close cooperation and support between the two organisations will lead to further success of all gymnastics disciplines.  

Four days earlier, the UEG’s EC members gathered for their first meeting within the new structure. We had fruitful discussions with the Presidents of the UEG Technical Committees. We will work further for sophistication of competition’s management during the UEG events, and making some “innovations” in their formats. The programme and format of Men’s and Women’s Artistic Gymnastics events within the framework of the new project on the European Championships comprising 7 sports disciplines, as well as of the European Games were also in the EC Meeting’s Agenda. The projects that are supported by the UEG as “innovations” bring a new breath to European Gymnastics.  

Following the discussions of many new ideas, we made certain decisions and approved to launch a development programme to assist the UEG affiliated Federations as the first step towards the unity of all its 50 members. The programme is planned to be implemented by means of financial packages offered by the UEG major Partners.

Prior to the EC meeting, on invitation of the Union of Gymnastics Federations of the Republic of Moldova, I visited Kishinev and had a meeting with the representatives of the National Olympic Committee and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Moldova. During the meeting, we discussed the development of gymnastics disciplines in Moldova. On January 11, it was my pleasure to be present at the Anniversary of the former Soviet rhythmic gymnast who won two All-Around World titles, the current Head Coach of the Ukrainian Rhythmic Gymnastics National Team and Vice-President of the Ukrainian Rhythmic Gymnastics Federation, Irina Deriugina in Kiev (UKR). The European Union of Gymnastics highly appreciates the work of gymnasts who made some kind of “innovation” at the time they were popular gymnasts. Ms. Deriugina was one of them with her strong sports character and power of will. 

As February rolls around the corner, the new competition season is upon us. The first major event for Europe will be the UEG YOG Qualifying competition in Rhythmic Gymnastics to be held within the framework of Grand Prix in Moscow (RUS). I wish each gymnast a successful commencement of the new season and strong willpower to overcome all the difficulties on the way to success.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my sincere respect to the sportswomen who shared their testimonies on sexual abuse last month. I can only imagine how hard this must have been for them. These revelations shocked everyone. This is a courageous step by gymnasts to prevent sexual abuse and to create a safe environment for women, not only in sports but in every field. Such cases can never be tolerated and UEG is ready to cooperate with the FIG to ensure the safety of its gymnasts.  

Let’s be strong, courageous, united and bear in mind that today’s “innovation”, is tomorrow’s great historical breakthrough!


Farid Gayibov

UEG President