The President's Note N° 9 2017

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The President's Note N° 9 2017

September 7, 2017

By Georges Guelzec, UEG President

Dear friends

The sporting news of the summer that has ended has nourished the columns of our daily newspapers, our favourite magazines, our news and raised questions sometimes, often even interrogations, on themes that I allow myself to ask for your thoughts.

There were incidents, altercations, even fist-fights that affected the governance of some. There are also pharaonic amounts reached by recent transfers of sportsmen. There was also the terrifying number of athletes doped in athletics in 2011. One out of three, according to a German study! Governance, money, doping.

We are justified in questioning the fragility of our institutions when we observe the motivations that could push, for example, a handful of elected representatives to overthrow a democratically elected president. AIBA is experiencing these difficult moments. The same interrogation seizes us by discovering the amounts exchanged on the green carpets for transfers. Enough is enough? UEFA is conducting this investigation. Nausea comes over us as we read the famous research report of the University of Tübingen (GER), according to which in 2011, a third of the athletes admitted to having doped.

Let us not be too quick to judge, but before looking for the speck in our neighbour’s eye, let’s observe the image which is reflected in the mirror of European gymnastics. This reflection has been going on for some time now, and I have come to terms with what I call the last straight line of my presidency.

I observe that our Executive Committee used its great wisdom to raise the level of its thoughts, accepting to revisit the fundamentals that govern the UEG. Together, we revisited our governance, our finances, our communication, our own sport. We are on the point of presenting to the General Assembly the conclusions which these thoughts have raised. In other words, we have been able to discuss, confront our ideas, debate and finally choose. Or give up, according to and in all transparency.

For my part, I am pleased with the path taken by the UEG and proud to present, in December, the keys to a Union in perfect harmony with its time.

Of course I have other objects of satisfaction. I am pleased, for example, with the preparations in Minsk for the 2019 European Games. The contract between the President of the European Olympic Committees (EOC) ad interim, Mr Janez Kocijancic, and the authorities of the Belarusian capital has been signed. According to the latter, these European Games will be spectacular and in line with Agenda 2020 of the IOC. In this spirit, gymnastics will make the most of its great popularity and dynamism, thanks to our Friends of the national federation who are very active in this matter.

Next year, the Glasgow Europeans will be the major event of the summer of 2018. The recent agreements between organisers and broadcasters will give the event a global audience and will consolidate gymnastics in its image of universal sport. As such, I would like to thank our partners from European Championships, British Gymnastics and the Glasgow City CounciI, all of whom are doing remarkable work.

Closer to home, I look forward to the upcoming European Aerobic Championships in Ancona (ITA), from 22 to 24 September. After the Rhythmic Worlds in Pesaro, our Friends of the Italian Federation demonstrate once again their dynamism and their organisational skills. I congratulate them.

Before concluding this Note, I would like to share with you my pleasure in welcoming our new General Director, Lisa Worthmann, to whom it is now up to guide our Union towards new successes. On behalf of the Authorities, our staff and the whole Union, I wish Lisa a warm welcome.

With my compliments.

Georges Guelzec, President.