Paolo Barelli has been re-elected as LEN President for his third four-year term.
The 2020 LEN Elective Congress was held online today due to the coronavirus pandemic. Special software was used for the voting process
Barelli (Italy) won 86 votes. The other candidate Giles Sezionale (France) received 13 votes.
David Sparkes (Great Britain) will continue to work as LEN General Secretary. He has been in office since 2012, when Barelli was elected for the first time.
Fernando Carpena (Spain) is a new Treasurer. Carpena was LEN Vice President and Water Polo Liaison in the past four years. Carpena, who is the Spanish Swimming Federation President, replaced Tamas Gyarfas (Hungary), who was the LEN Treasurer from 2012 to 2020.
LEN Vice Presidents for a term 2020-2024: Tunde Szabo (former Olympic silver medalist in swimming and the Hungarian Secretary of State for Sports) Dimitris Diathesopoulos (Greek Swimming Federation President), Pia Holmen (Director of the Swimming Federation of Denmark), Andriy Vlaskov (President of the Ukrainian Swimming Federation), and Marius van Zeijtz (President of the Swimming Federation of the Netherlands). Diathesopoulous and Vlasov served as Vice Presidents in the previous four-year term. For the first time in history, LEN will have two female Vice Presidents, Pia Holmen and Tunde Szabo.
The other LEN Bureau Members: Joe Carauna Curran (Malta), Christer Magnusson (Sweden), Camilla Alina Potec (Romania), Predrag Sloboda (Croatia), Aleksandar Sostar (Serbia), Marco Stacchiotti (Luxemburg), Alexei Vlasenko (Russia), Sami Wahlman (Finland), Noam Zwi (Israel).
Six LEN Bureau members come from the world of water polo in different ways, as former players, referees, presidents of the national federations: Treasurer Fernando Carpena, Vice Presidents Dimitris Diathesopoulos, and Marius van Zeijtz, Predrag Sloboda, Aleksandar Sostar, and Alexei Vlasenko (full biographies at the end of the article).
Six of the Bureau Members were re-elected: Joe Caruana (Malta), Camelia Potec (Romania), Alexandar Sostar (Serbia), Marco Stacchiotti (Luxemburg), Alexei Vlasenko (Russia) and Noam Zwi (Israel). And there are three new members: Christer Magnusson (Sweden), Predrag Sloboda (Croatia) and Sami Wahlmann (Finland).
Paolo Barelli, David Sparkes, Fernando Carpena and Dimitris Diathesopoulos will represent Europe in the FINA Bureau from 2021 (and two more European candidates will be elected at the FINA Congress next June).
After re-election, Paolo Barelli said:
“Even if we came together only on the web, this Congress was once again the celebration of our unity and a sound approval on everything we have achieved so far. In the past years, European Aquatics enjoyed a really successful period and the benefits were significant. We were able to share those with our National Federations offering them financial support and with our athletes who could earn ever-‐growing amounts of prize-‐money at our events. They are the frontrunners in this success story, they deserve all credits for making Europe the No. 1 continent in aquatics.”
Barelli recalled that the value of the top LEN showcases – the European Aquatics Championships, the European Water Polo Championships, the short- course swimming Europeans and the water polo Champions League Final Eight – was increasing constantly while visiting the continent’s great cities like London, Glasgow, Belgrade, Barcelona, Budapest and Copenhagen.
“We are on the right track to continue our stable growth” the LEN President added. “I know that this year has been challenging for all of us – and LEN wished to support its federations by distributing one million euros to ease the pressure the pandemic may have put on them. Still, I’m convinced that soon our life can get back to normal, all the pools will be reopen and we can enjoy the same vibe and excitement at the LEN Events as in the past.”
(The source of the quote: LEN Press Release)
Paolo Barelli (ITA)
-LEN President since 2012. Served as TSC Member and then Bureau Member since 2008.
-FINA Vice President and Executive Member since 2017. Between 2009 and 2017 was FINA Honorary Secretary.
-President of the Italian Swimming Federation since 2000, re-elected 5 times, most recently in 2020. Became member of the Board in 1984, served as Vice President from 1987 till 1998.
-Member of the Italian Olympic Committee since 2005. Head of Delegation of the Italian swimming team at the Olympics between 1988 and 2008.
-As a swimmer, he competed in two Olympics (1972, 1976), first-ever male World Championship medallist for Italy (1975), 20-times national champion and 22-‐times national record-holder.
-Senator of Italy for three terms (2001-2012), from 2018 has been elected member of the Italian Chamber of Deputies (Parliament).
LEN General Secretary
David Sparkes (GBR)
-LEN General Secretary since 2012, was Bureau Member and Liaison for the Medical Committee since 2008.
-FINA Bureau Member since 2017, previously member of the FINA Disciplinary Panel.
-CEO of British Swimming between 1994 and 2017, led an organisation with 350 employees and a turnover excessing €45M.
-Oversaw bidding, preparing and delivering the 2016 European Aquatics Championships in London.
-Involved to bidding and organising the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
-Held numerous roles in British sport (including membership of the National Olympic Committee), was advisor besides the Government and the City of London in sport matters.
-Qualified engineer in thermodynamics and fluid mechanics, did post graduate studies in management and became a professional swimming coach and referee.
Fernando Carpena (ESP)
-LEN Vice President since 2018, Liaison for Water Polo, was Bureau Member since 2012.
-FINA Bureau Member between 2013-2017.
-President of the Royal Spanish Swimming Federation since 2008, before he was President of the Madrid Swimming Federation (2004-2008), was member of the Federations WP Committee (1988-1996) and chaired its Swimming Committee (1996-2000).
-Chair of the Organising Committee for the 2018 LEN European Water Polo Championships in Barcelona and Co-Chair of the OC for the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona.
-Executive Member of the Spanish National Olympic Committee since 2013.
-COMEN Treasurer between 2009-2018, Vice President since 2018.
-As a swimmer and water polo player he competed at the national level.
-Graduated as a lawyer, professor of sports law.
LEN Vice Presidents
Dimitris Diathesopoulos (GRE)
-LEN Vice President since 2012, LEN Bureau Member since 1990.
-FINA Bureau Member since 2009, FINA TWPC Member between 1996-2009.
-President of the Hellenic Swimming Federation since 1984.
-Member of National Olympic Committee between 1988-2020, was General secretary between 1988-1992 & 1997-2004.
-COMEN President since 2007, was Vice President between 1989-1992, Bureau Member since 1989.
-Board Member of the Organising Committee for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.
-Chair of the OC for the 2000 FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) in Athens.
-Was LEN and FINA water polo referee between 1979 and 1984.
-Graduated as a lawyer, practicing in Piraeus.
Pia Holmen (DEN)
-LEN Bureau Member since 2016, Liaison for Swimming and for the Learn to Swim programme between 2016-2018.
-CEO of the Danish Swimming Federation (2001-2020), currently responsible for international affairs. Vice Chairman between 1993-1999.
-Chair of the Organising Committee for the 2013 and 2017 European Short‐Course Swimming Championships (Herning, Copenhagen)
-Vice President of Team Denmark (National Elite Institution) 2018 – 2020, since 2016, member of the Board. Team Denmark and NOC media committee member between 2006 and 2014. Member of the Board of Anti-Doping Denmark (2009- 2012). Internal auditor of the European Lifesaving Federation (since 2016), Vice President (2012-‐14), then President (2014-16) of the International Federation for Swimming Teachers’ Associations.
-Worked as swimming coach (assistant and head coach in various clubs), graduated as master of Political Science, then of Public Administration, has degrees in business economics and sports management.
Dr Tunde Szabo (HUN)
-Minister of State for Sports in the Hungarian Government since 2015, elected Member of the Parliament since 2018.
-General Secretary of the Hungarian Swimming Association between 2011-2015, Vice President between 2015-17.
-Senior Staff Member in the Budapest Mayor’s Office’s Sport Department (2005-2011).
-Oversaw the successful bids for the 2020 European Aquatics Championships and the 2021 FINA World Championships in Budapest (staged in 2017).
-Olympic, World Championship and European Championship silver medallist swimmer.
-Lawyer, holds special degrees in sports law, health law, justice mediation, PhD in philosophy, qualified swimming coach.
Marius van Zeijts (NED)
-LEN Bureau Member since 2018.
-President of the Royal Dutch Swimming Federation since 2017, former President, now Honorary President of swimming club AZ&PC.
-President of the Royal Military Fencing Association (2005-2016),
-Former swimmer, water polo player and pentathlete
-Active in CISM (International Military Sports Council) as organiser of major international tournaments (1995-2016)
-Educated at the Royal Military Academy and graduated in addition at the University of Amsterdam (Certified Public Accountant) and the Nyenrode Business University (Master of Science in Management)
-Served in the Royal Netherlands Army, was on international duties in several continents, achieved the rank of General.
Andriy Vlaskov (UKR)
-LEN Vice President since 2016, Bureau Member since 2004.
-LEN Technical Swimming Committee Member between 1994-2004, FINA TSC Member between 1996‐2017.
-President of the Ukrainian Swimming Federation since 2017, also held this position between 1992 and 2000. Was Vice President between 2000 and 2017, also General Secretary between 2015 and 2017.
-Member of the Soviet National Swimming Team between 1975-1979.
LEN Bureau Members
Joe Caruana Curran (MLT)
-LEN Bureau Member since 2016, Liaison for Open Water Swimming, was member of the Audit Committee between 2012 and 2016.
-President of the Aquatic Sport Association of Malta since 2010.
-Vice President of Valletta WP Club (1982-1986), President of Valletta FC (1986-2013). President of the Malta Billiard and Snooker Association (2006-2013), Vice President of the European Billiard and Snooker Association (2008‐2013).
-Malta Sports Council, Board of Directors member between 2008-2014.
-Graduated as an economist, was Deputy President then President of the Federation of Industries in Malta between 1997 and 2001.
Christer Magnusson (SWE)
-LEN Medical Committee Secretary since 2016, member since 2008.
-Member of the FINA Sports Medicine Committee since 2017, was member of the FINA Technical Swimming Committee between 2013-2017.
-Vice President of the Swedish Swimming Federation since 2020, previously he was Secretary (2010-2020), Board Member (1995-98, 2001‐2010), Chairman of the Swimming Committee (1995-2001), Member (2001-2014), then Chairman of the Anti-Doping Committee (2014-18).
-Former swimmer of Vasby and the University of Cincinnati, worked as youth swim coach and chaired swim clubs.
-Doctor of Medicine and specialist in Internal Medicine (2002) and Cardiology (2004), now works as the Chief Physician at Department of Internal Medicine at Eskilstuna Regional Hospital.
Camelia Alina Potec (ROU)
-LEN Bureau Member as Chair of the LEN Athletes Committee since 2017.
-FINA Technical Swimming Committee since 2017 and Athletes Committee Member since 2013.
-President of the Romanian Swimming & Modern Pentathlon Federation since 2013.
-Vice President of Romanian Olympic and Sports Committee since 2016.
-Officer with the rank of Lieutenant colonel at Ministry of National Defense in Army Sports Club Steaua Bucharest since 2000
-Olympic champion swimmer, competed in four Olympics, four FINA World Championships (earned two bronze medals) and seven European Championships (4 gold, 3 silver, 10 bronze).
-Graduated in International Tourism Economy, got PhD in Tourism and Psychology of Sports Performance.
Predrag Sloboda (CRO)
-President of the Croatian Water Polo Federation between 2010 and 2018 – called the new golden era of Croatian water polo with Olympic and World Championship gold medals – now Vice President responsible for international matters.
-Led successful bid for 2022 European Water Polo Championships to be held in Split.
-Board member, then President of water polo club Primorje Rijeka.
-Studied and worked in the maritime, then became a businessman and led a logistics company.
Aleksandar Sostar (SRB)
-LEN Bureau Member since 2012, Liaison for Water Polo.
-FINA TWPC Member between 2009 and 2017.
-President of the Serbia‐Montenegrin Water Polo Federation between 2002 and 2004, Vice President between 2014-2017. Director of WP Club Partizan Belgrade since 2001.
-Director of Directorate for Sports in the Ministry of Education and Sports (2004-‐ 2007), Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports of the Serbian Government (2007‐2009),
President of the Sports Federation of Serbia (2009-2017).
-Olympic champion and Olympic bronze medallist water polo player, World champion, 2‐times European Champion, 3x silver medallist, 2-times World Cup winner, Champions League winner. Inducted to the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2011.
-Graduated in the faculty of Mechanical Engineering.
Marco Stacchiotti (LUX)
-LEN Bureau Member since 2016, Liaison for Masters.
-Creator of the idea of LEN Swimming Cup, launched in 2020.
-President of the Luxembourgish Swimming Federation since 2014, was Treasurer since 2009.
-Chair of the OC for the annual Euro Meet, now Leg 1 of the LEN Swimming Cup. President of the Swimming Club le Dauphin Ettelbruck.
-Graduated in IT at the Institut Supérieur Economique de Jemelle, worked for various companies as System Engineer, Sales Executive, Team Leader, Senior Account Manager and Director in IT and Business Development.
Alexei Vlasenko (RUS)
-LEN Bureau Member since 2018.
-LEN Technical Diving Committee Member between 2012‐2016, FINA TDC Vice Chairman between 2015‐17, Chairman since 2017.
-President of the Russian Diving Federation since 2010, President of the Russian Synchronised Swimming Federation and the Russian Water Polo Federation since 2015.
-Russian Olympic Committee President’s Staff Member between 2007-2009.
-Former national team swimmer between 1977‐1985.
-Graduated as economist at the G. Plekhanov Russian University of Economics and as swimming coach at the Russian State University of Physical Education.
Sami Wahlman (FIN)
-LEN Masters Committee Member since 2008.
-President of the Finnish Swimming Federation since 2013, Vice President in 2012, Board Member in 2010-‐11, Member (2003-‐2006), then Chair of the Technical Committee (2007‐2013).
-President of the Nordic Swimming Federation (2013-14), member since 2012.
-Chair of the OC for the 2018 European Junior Swimming Championships in Helsinki and the OC for the 2014 European Junior Synchro Championships, worked in various roles in the organising committees for the 2000 European Aquatics Championships and in the 2006 European Short-course Swimming Championships.
-Swimming referee at national level since 1991, FINA referee in swimming since 2007 and in open water swimming since 2011, was Chief Referee in OWS at European Masters Champs (2009-2016), Technical Delegate for SW and OWS in 2018.
-Graduated in Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Engineering and Management.
Noam Zwi (ISR)
-LEN Bureau Member since 2012, Liaison for Artistic Swimming.
-LEN Technical Open Water Committee Member between 2008-2012, FINA TOWSC Member since 2009.
-Vice President of the Israel Swimming Federation since 2015, was President between 2003-2015, chairman of the technical committee between 1994‐2003.
-Chaired the Organising Committee for the 2015 European Short‐Course Swimming Championships in Netanya and for the 2011 European OWS Championships.
-Vice President of the Israel Olympic Committee (2013‐2016), Board member since 2000.
-COMEN Vice President since 2013, Bureau Member since 2005.
-Former swimming coach, national coach at the 1992 Olympics, founder and director of swim club Hapoel Jerusalem.
-Graduated as a lawyer.
(The source of the biographies: LEN Press Release)