Baku; 1 April 2014: The European Olympic Committees (EOC) Coordination Commission for the inaugural European Games today arrived in Azerbaijan to assess preparations for Europe’s first continental multi-sport event, to be held in Baku in 2015.
The 16-member Commission, chaired by Spyros Capralos, will attend five progress meetings hosted by the Baku 2015 European Games Operation Committee (BEGOC), and make site visits to the National Gymnastics Arena and the Central Traffic Control Centre over two days from 3-4 April.
Updates will be given by BEGOC on all aspects of their Games preparations, including medical and anti-doping procedures, broadcasting, athlete accommodation and NOC services. BEGOC attendees will include the First Lady of Azerbaijan, Mehriban Aliyeva, who chairs BEGOC, and the Minister of Youth and Sports of Azerbaijan, Azad Rahimov, who is BEGOC’s Chief Executive Officer. Both will make addresses to the Commission.
Spyros Capralos, who is also President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee, said:
“We are coming up to the one-year-to-go mark for Baku 2015 so my Commission’s third visit to Baku represents an extremely important milestone in BEGOC’s preparations. The European Games is an innovative concept and Baku has only had three years to get the city ready to host Europe’s finest athletes. So every day is important but I am very confident in BEGOC’s ability to deliver the perfect stage in 2015.”
In February, the EOC revealed a €2.5 million financial package for European Federations (EFs) on the Sports Programme at Baku 2015. The package gives EFs the chance to collect a base fee for participating with senior athletes and a Rio 2016 qualification fee if athletes can directly or indirectly qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games via Baku 2015.
EOC President Patrick Hickey, who is also a member of the IOC Executive Board, said:
“The EOC, BEGOC and the government of Azerbaijan all match each others’ commitment to staging an incredible inaugural European Games. The overall aim of the Games is to raise the performance of European athletes and European sport. The Games represent a terrific tune-up opportunity for European athletes one year before every summer Olympic Games but they can also act as a way of unlocking domestic sources of funding for European Federations, National Olympic Committees and athletes themselves.”
In March, BEGOC hosted its first National Olympic Committee Open Day which was attended by a third of the EOC’s 49 member countries. Further NOC Open Days are planned for September 2014 and February and May 2015 whilst a Chef de Mission seminar will take place from 10-12 June this year, coinciding with Baku 2015’s one-year-to-go mark as well as the European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships being held in Baku.