24 Feb 2017

Georges Guelzec: Looking forward to busy year ahead of 2018 European Championships

"February has been a busy month for European Gymnastics with the inauguration of our new headquarters in Lausanne, our Executive Committee meeting and Strategy Work meeting, not to mention the preparation of our upcoming events. Besides that we have also been involved with the different work groups for the 2018 European Championships, which proudly launched the timetable at this month’s Board meeting."

Image credit: Volker Minkus UEG
Volker Minkus UEG

"The focus of UEG now shifts to the European Championships in April in Romania’s second city Cluj-Napoca where both the male and female artistic gymnasts will compete for the silverware.

As the first big competition of the new Olympic cycle – which traditionally means a new Code of Points in gymnastics- all eyes will be on Cluj and an exciting mix of decorated competitors and new faces are scheduled to compete. On a continental stage this will be the last competition before we head to Glasgow for the multi-sport event in 2018. Having most of our 50 Member Federations present we will take this opportunity to inform the delegations and media of this new concept. So far the feedback received has been overwhelmingly positive. Nevertheless gaining even more support from our athletes and media will only benefit the promotion of the 2018 European Championships.

For many years we have worked together with our partner EBU to find ways to make gymnastics, and sport in general, even more attractive for a wider audience. Combining the existing European Championships of these seven outstanding sports, each with a wide reach, promises to be hugely beneficial and aims to elevate the status of our European Champions.

The past weeks also saw the launch of media events for the 2018 European Championships, most notably in London. Thanks to the extensive work done by the host cities Glasgow and Berlin, the concept is becoming known throughout the continent. Creating more awareness and getting media more involved is helped by the support of athletes, such as gymnast Max Whitlock, a double Olympic Champion. This cooperation between the different groups involved in creating a successful event marks the spirit of unity that I have noticed from the very beginning of this project. Indeed, that the Championships is collectively run by the Federations and that each of us is independently responsible for our own sport within the concept is a key principle.

As we look ahead, the call for volunteers in Glasgow will open in the near future. I’m convinced that we’ll see many different nationalities dedicating their time and effort to the smooth running of the European Championships, in both host cities, delivering the ultimate experience for fans and athletes alike.

With less than 18 months to go, The Moment is fast approaching ..."

Georges Guelzec, Union Européenne de Gymnastique President