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Conference will engage aquatics with wider world

Conference will engage aquatics with wider world
October 17, 2014

The Aquatics Conference at the 2014 FINA World Aquatics Convention will aim to tap into expertise from outside as well as inside the industry under the ‘Engaging for Success’ theme, according to Cornel Marculescu, Executive Director of world swimming governing body FINA.

The conference program will play a central role at the Convention, which will run from 29th November to 1st December in Doha, Qatar, with FINA is convinced that it will provide Aquatics stakeholders with opportunities to learn from fresh perspectives.

Marculescu explained “our main objective is to integrate FINA expertise with external specialists in different areas so that we can speak in a common language, but also have the vision of the wider world.

“The FINA values of universality, fair play, friendship and excellence are highly attractive, but FINA also has a lot to learn from other industries in the areas of promotion, marketing, brand awareness and product activation, to name a few.

“The FINA World Aquatics Convention is the ideal forum to exchange ideas and share experiences on best practices in the areas of sports administration, business partnerships, marketing and promotion, and grassroots development.

“The aquatics brand has dramatically evolved over the years and our achievements have only been possible with the support of our National Member Federations across the five continents. United, we are all ‘Engaging for Success’.”

The Conference will touch upon a number of crucial challenges and opportunities for aquatics in the future, and Marculescu is unequivocal in highlighting some of the major tasks that lie ahead for FINA Aquatics as a whole.

He adds “in a very competitive and challenging international sports market, one of our main concerns is the definition of a coherent and long-term calendar, capable of ensuring optimal organisation of our major events, such as the FINA World Championships.

“That is why we have already decided the host cities for this competition until 2021 and we will announce in Doha the organisers of the 2018 and 2020 FINA World Swimming Championships (25 metres) and World Aquatics Convention.

“This represents a solid investment in our future and allows smoother work with the bidding cities and the cities that are chosen to stage these events.”

The Conference will also allow other sports and organisations from the ‘wider world’ to learn about how aquatics has established itself in the top-tier ‘Group A’ of Olympic sports that will receive the largest distribution of revenue from the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

He continued “as in all sport, the most difficult challenge is not to get the gold medal, but to stay on top for a long time.

“This is also FINA’s philosophy and we cannot rest on our laurels. The world is changing and we need to follow that evolution. That is why we are constantly looking for new ways of presenting our sport and to innovate.

“Some recent examples include the introduction of mixed relays in Swimming; a team event in Diving and Open Water Swimming; a team highlights routine in Synchronised Swimming; and perhaps most notably, the inclusion of a sixth discipline in our programme – High Diving.

“In Water Polo, we are also looking closely at how to make the sport more exciting and easy to understand.”

Fan engagement, as part of FINA’s ongoing strategy to adapt its offering to the changing world, is already crucial, according to Marculescu, although social media is only one strand of the plan.

He states “we have been working on these areas for some years now, but as with technology, we are constantly learning and evolving.

“We try to adapt our sports to new realities by making them more understandable and easier to follow, providing spectators and TV viewers with a unique experience, for example in the area of sport presentation.

“Watching a sports competition is now a global experience, which starts from the moment you can easily park your car outside the venue, to the exciting moments you spend inside the venue watching the best athletes, eating in the restaurant or dancing in the facility’s fan zone.

“The game or the race is not the sport any more. It is part of a much wider experience for fans.”

The Conference will provide attendees with a snapshot of where aquatics has come from, where it is today and, more importantly, where it can go in the future.

Marculescu concluded “all of the disciplines have passionate communities that are keen to develop and promote them on a local, national and international level.

“From FINA’s point of view, we are also fully engaged in ensuring the harmonious progression of our sport on a global scale, involving all of our partners in this effort.

“We are recognised as a key pillar of the Olympic Movement, but we need to continue progressing in the right direction, making Aquatics part of the daily lives of many millions of children across the five continents.

“This is our ultimate mission.”

For more information  visit the FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation) event website at



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