FINA Communications Department

Some hours before the FINA World Aquatics Gala “Soirée des Etoiles”, the FINA President Dr Julio C. Maglione and three top stars attended an Open Class in a swimming pool of Sanya (CHN), inspiring many dozens of children that came to follow the advices of Chinese idols Sun Yang and Ye Shiwen, as well as British top diver Tom Daley.

“The success of the Aquatic sports is due to the inspirational effect it can generate in the youth of the five continents. Having today Stars of our sport that accepted to give an open class to these many children here in Sanya, makes this role-model status a very concrete reality. Great results in the water must also mean leading by example. How many of these children here today will start competing in Aquatics because they want to emulate their idols?” considered Dr. Maglione.

Chatting with future champions!

“I wish all these children to have a lot of pleasure practising Aquatic sports throughout their lives. No need to be a champion, or to win a medal. Just do it to be healthier, happier and a better citizen. That’s the magic and the power of Sport!” noted the FINA President.

After the official speeches, Daley, Sun and Ye approached the many kids in the pool deck and gave them some special recommendations on the importance of Sport in general and Aquatics in particular. Listening to their idols very attentively, the children them plunged into the water for the Open Class. 

The ceremony was also the opportunity for Dr. Maglione to handle a plaque to the Government of Hainan Province (where Sanya is located), in recognition of the “Outstanding Contribution for FINA’s Swimming for All, Swimming for Life Programme”.

FINA

Aquatic Forum
In the morning, the FINA President was at the opening of the “Global Aquatic Sports and City Tourism Forum”, where the Sanya and Hainan Province authorities presented the touristic potential of their region and the possibilities related with the organisation of major international events in the city.

From the FINA side, three presentations were offered to the attendance of this Forum. 

Sam Ramsamy, FINA Second Vice-President, spoke about the “Swimming for All, Swimming for Life” programme, a priority for FINA in recent years. He started by recalling the alarming numbers connected to drowning around the world and said that over 370,000 lives are lost every year due to this tragic circumstance. “It was our duty, as world governing body for Aquatics, to do something on this matter. That is why we have launched this programme, to concretely help our members around the world and give them the necessary tools to reduce these worrying rates in the five continents”, considered Mr. Ramsamy, who presented the specific programme being developed in his own country, South Africa.

Joey Zuber during his presentation

Joey Zuber, member of the FINA High Diving Technical Committee, spoke about the development and potential of the newest FINA discipline. Recalling the very successful venue at the 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest (HUN), where for the first time a temporary pool was used on the shore of the Danube river, Zuber underlined that this should be an opportunity for further development.

“It shows us that every big city can host a high diving event in an emblematic location! The use of ‘portable’ pools is really an exciting evolution in our sport and should be considered by any future organiser. We can virtually imagine this facility in cities like Paris, under the Eiffel Tower, or in Prague, well in the middle of its historic centre”, underlined Zuber.

Eva Szanto, CEO of the 2017 FINA World Championships Organising Committee, closed the FINA Panel, and presented to the audience the legacy, strong images and positive memories of the FINA showcase last July in the Magyar capital. “It was a great time for us, for the population of Budapest and Balatonfured, and for the entire Hungarian nation. The investment made in infrastructures, namely the brand-new Duna Arena, constitutes the best possible legacy for our youth. The strong support by the Magyar government ensured a great competition, in the words of the FINA President, the ‘best World Championships in the FINA history’. We are proud of this!”, said Eva Szanto.

Eva Szanto - Budapest 2017