Presidents’ Conference heads to Paris

By Paul Groves | 09 Jan, 2016

Every year the Presidents and Heads of the European Federations are invited to gather so that some hard work at the start of the season can be completed. A full programme awaits them at this year’s location.

In the past the Presidents’ Conference has taken place in Eilat, Vienna, Warsaw, Frankfurt and Loughborough.

This year the Fédération Française de Triathlon have selected Paris to be the host city for this prestigious meeting.

The delegates arrive on Friday afternoon and from that point no doubt there will be small groups forming as the all-important “networking” starts and it will be this weekend that the individual federations will have their chance to sit down and discuss with the ETU Development Committee how they plan to progress their athletes, coaches and officials.

An early start on Saturday will see the work begin. For Philippe Lescure, President of the Fédération Française de Triathlon it will be a great opportunity to welcome from all over Europe the people who drive the sport. We will also be welcoming ITU President and IOC Member, Marisol Casado who will be followed by our own ETU President, Renato Bertrandi who will deliver a 2015 Review and now that 2016 is underway, will reveal some of the exciting new ventures for the year.

There then follows presentations about ETU Finance and Budgets, a most welcome delivery from the ETU Development Committee and a presentation that will give us insight into the Ecole Française de Triathlon (French Triathlon Education).

Following on from that will be a Prize-Giving to celebrate the winners of the National Federation Junior ranking. This is the ranking that is created from the participation of junior athletes at the ETU Triathlon Junior European Cups and which runs alongside the Elite Ranking series that had its finale in Sochi last September.

The 2014 final standings for the Juniors saw France take the lead, with Great Britain and Germany following in second and third places. For 2015, in third place, we see Great Britain. In second and following great consistency throughout the year, Hungary and in first place, with great performances year long and showing that the future of triathlon is indeed very strong, comes Germany.

After a quick lunch there will be presentations on the role of media in our sport, on the ETU Events that are on the 2016 Calendar (and we can expect exciting news about the ETU Cross Triathlon Championships). As yet no event had been allocated the ETU Championships status but, this coming weekend, all will be revealed.

All ETU European Championship LOCs will then make short presentations for their events. There will also be a presentation from the Federación Mexicana de Triatlón, because don’t forget, this will be the venue in September for the ITU World Triathlon Grand Final Cozumel. An important date for Elite and Age Group athletes.

We will then be given a glimpse at plans for the European Sport Championships, which are scheduled for 2018 and which will be shared jointly by Berlin and Glasgow.

We will also hear about the ITU Calendar & Rio Olympic Games from Gergely Markus, ITU Sport Department.

Age Group participation is vitally important to our sport. We have seen over the past few years a dramatic increase in the attendance at events by Age Group athletes. Probably the biggest team that regularly attends comes from Great Britain. What is their secret? Well, a short presentation will hopefully share this success with all the Federations and we hope this will lead to even great participations in future years.

Marketing is now, more than ever before, an important aspect of our sport. ETU’s Marketing Commission will share its vision.

We will then hear from Federación Española de Triatlón – FETRI about their development model, “From Youth to Elite”. The day will finish with a session on Anti-doping.

While all this is happening in one conference room, there will be lots of activity in a smaller seminar room where the 2016 Paris, ETU Event Organisers Seminar will be held. Covering general requirements about organizing an ETU event, details on planning (Venue, Schedule, Operations, etc.), Examples and Practical Exercises and finishing with lessons learned - from representatives of professional event organizers in triathlon (Challenge, Powerman, Ironstar, Geneva LOC ,TNatura).

Everyone will then join for the evening, which will see our first ETU Gala & Dinner. It will be held at the Head Quarters of the Comité National Olympique et Sportif Français.

In addition to our already impressive guest list, we will welcome that great athlete from Portugal, Vanessa de Sousa Fernandes, who between 2001 and 2008 dominated our sport. She will be joined by Denmark’s Camilla Pedersen, the middle and long distance European champion.

It will be here that the awards will be presented to the winners of those nominated in the following categories:
• Female Athlete of the Year
• Male Athlete of the Year
• National Federation of the Year
• Emerging / Developing National Federation of the Year
• Technical Official of the Year
• Organiser of the Year

The Nominees in each category are as follows:
• Female athlete of the year: Vicky Holland, Rachel Klamer, Nicola Spirig and Yuliya Yelistratova
• Male athlete of the year: Uxío Abuín Ares, Gordon Benson, David Hauss and Javier Gomez
• National Federation of the year: France, Great Britain and Spain
• Emerging/developing National Federation of the year: Croatia, Romania, Slovenia
• Technical Official of the year: Jorge Garcia, Stefane Mauris, Laura Patti, Dr Béla Varga
• Organiser of the year: Geneva, Holten, Sochi, Tiszaújváros.

We hope to bring you full coverage of this meeting and provide you with the documents that are presented at the Conference.

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