On 14 April, the President of the FINA (International Swimming Federation) Julio Maglione visited Kazan again. The purpose of the visit was to inspect the progress of preparation for the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series 2019 to be held for the first time in Russia on 19-21 April, and the FINA Development Centre, established in September 2019.
Julio Maglione visited the Aquatics Palace, where the students of the FINA Centre train. Today, athletes from 7 countries (Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Georgia, Latvia, Montenegro, the DPRK, and Pakistan) come to train and study at the FINA Centre. The President had a meeting with the Centre’s athletes, Gulnara Garipova, the Head Coach, Azat Kadyrov, Director General of ANO Directorate for Sports and Social Projects, and Ranko Tepavcevic, Cenre Coordinator, Deputy Director General of ANO Directorate for Sports and Social Projects.
“Today only swimmers have been training here, but divers will join them soon. This Centre is the only one centre among others that is ready to provide world-class infrastructure for training swimmers and divers”, noted the President of FINA.
“All athletes started training. There is a warm atmosphere within the group, the athletes became friends, which helps them to adapt to the new living conditions and training. They have a good motivation to improve their results and nothing distracts them from the training process – this is the main thing!” Azat Kadyrov admitted, in turn.
FINA Centre in Kazan provides athletes with conditions for professional growth. At the same time, staying in Kazan will allow them to take part in the competitions held under the auspices of FINA, for example, the Swimming World Cup or World Series (which take place annually in Kazan) without additional travel expenses and with the opportunity to compete in the pool which has become a “sweet home”.
“Together with the FINA Centre in Thailand, we have planned an annual educational experience sharing programme. As part of this program, we will arrange joint training camps here before the Kazan Leg of the FINA Swimming World Cup. 20 athletes training at the FINA Centre in Thailand will join the students of our Centre. Then all participants of the programme will perform at the FINA Swimming World Cup in Kazan together with the leading swimmers of the planet. An opportunity to participate in the top world competitions is also part of the educational programme of our Centre”, Ranko Tepavcevic told about the upcoming project plans.
Training courses for coaches and officials as part of FINA scholarship programmes and FINA schools with the assistance of leading international experts are expected to be organized every year at FINA Centre in Kazan. Thus, on 18-21 April, as part of the educational module of the FINA Centre, a seminar for artistic swimming coaches will be held, at the end of which its participants will receive a FINA certificate. On the same dates, the FINA School for Judges will work, after training the judges will pass a qualifying exam.
It should be mentioned that the FINA Development Centre was opened in Kazan in September 2018 jointly by the International Swimming Federation (FINA) and the All-Russian Swimming Federation after the ceremony of signing a cooperation agreement with the Republic of Tatarstan, constituent entity of the Russian Federation, on behalf of which the Ministry of Sports spoke.
The FINA Centre in Kazan joined other training complexes and centres under the auspices of FINA, including the FINA Development Centre in Dakar (Senegal), as well as the FINA training facilities in the Thanyapura sports complex in Phuket (Thailand) and the SPIRE Institute in Geneva (Ohio, USA).
All centres operate as part of the organization of various scholarship programmes and FINA development programmes, and they are aimed at training athletes from different continents and regions of the globe. Recently, FINA has decided to launch a diving scholarship program, and Kazan is the only centre capable of providing all national federations with a high level of services.
The organization of the operational work and all the activities of the Centre was entrusted to the ANO Directorate for Sports and Social Projects according to a ten-year experience in holding major events, including the World Aquatics Championship 2015, annual FINA Diving World Series, Swimming World Cup, as well as the arrival of the FINA Artistic Swimming World Series to Kazan.
The establishment of the FINA Centre was a logical contribution to the heritage of the World Universiade and the World Aquatics Championships in Kazan. Powerful sports infrastructure and experience allow the city to become the educational centre of the FINA (International Swimming Federation), for which it is very important to support the use of the heritage of large-scale events in the best possible way, to build long-term collaboration with countries and cities of the world that can not only organize an event, but also provide support and a great platform for the future development of all water disciplines.