Paolo Barelli Confirmed As President Of Italian Swimming Federation

Paolo Barelli has been confirmed as president of the Italian Swimming Federation for a sixth term until 2024 after winning more than 70% of the vote at the XVII ordinary elective assembly in Rome.

The assembly was held at the Olympic Stadium in the Italian capital where Barelli garnered 71.54% of the votes while 30% of the federal council was renewed with Annarita Blosi, Amelia Mascioli and Luca Piscopo the new appointees.

Barelli was born in Rome on 7 June 1954 and is a two-time Olympian, competing at Munich 1972 and Montreal 1976 and won bronze with the Italian men’s 4×200 free at the World Championships in Cali in 1975.

He has been president of the Italian Swimming Federation since October 2000 and was vice-president of the technical commission at European governing body LEN from 1990 to 2000, FINA honorary secretary from 2013 to 2017 where he is still vice-president and in September 2012 was elected president of LEN.


Photo Courtesy: LEN

In an address to the assembly, Barelli said:

“We are going through a particular period which I would summarise in two ways. The pandemic and the reform of sport.

“This last theme has been swimming or flying around us for months and we don’t know where it will land or settle.

“We are in hot water, we often say it, we have more difficulty than other sports to support the activity.

“We held out until the end, we were forced to stop, we reopened. We try to move forward, not without difficulty.

“Today sport in Italy rests exclusively on the work of the clubs and their presidents. It is not just a matter of preparing the champion for competitions, in this we federation can try, but it is a question of being able to keep the clubs alive and allow them to let all citizens practice sport.

“If companies do not have the opportunity to engage the so-called post-pandemic, sport in Italy will stop. In this regard we are trying to do our best.

“We have invested about 5 million euros in the resumption of activity; we have promoted and organised colleges for all our teams and tournaments and events for all our disciplines.

“Now there is a need to support companies, sports associations and promotional bodies with concrete laws and reforms, first and foremost plant engineering and sports promotion, and for this we need the intervention of our Government.”

He closed by saying:

“I invite you to this last reflection and I wish all of us that what we are about to face can truly be a four-year period capable of opening a new course. Four years of new results, not only competitive, but also and above all social.”

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