Yesterday in Tórshavn (Thor’s Harbour, our capitol), I was elected president of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. A maybe logical but still humbling milestone for me personally, to be appointed head of this tiny federation of ours, that these past few years has seen successes as never before.
Former president Jon Hestoy had announced last year that he would be resigning now, and I guess that I as vice president was one of the natural candidates. But it is a major task, as he has been actively involved in pretty much everything that the federation does, and it therefore took until this spring before I mustered the courage to put myself forward.
As it turned out, I ended up the only candidate, and was elected president for the next two years. I have received a for me tremendous amount of congratulations and good luck wishes since then, and will be needing especially the latter, as we roll our sleeves up and start working.
One major decision at the congress yesterday, was that we will be taking the European Swimming League (LEN) to the Court for Arbitration of Sport (CAS), to fight LEN’s decision to block us out of the 2015 European Junior Championships.
This has been an ongoing dispute between us and LEN since it became clear that the inclusion of the European Juniors in the Baku 2015 European Games would mean that we and Gibraltar as non-Olympic nations but full members of LEN and FINA would not be able to participate under our own flags, disregarding the LEN constitution that states that all member federations shall have the right to take part in LEN events.
This culminated with our now former president Hestoy taking the floor at the LEN Congress at Lake Guarda (ITA) earlier this month, arguing our case and asking member nations to vote against the Bureau report, which several did.
Now yesterday, our congress voted unanimously to fight this decision, by taking it to the Court of Arbitration of Sport. For me as new president, it was heartwarming to see the passion and determination stirred in club presidents and other congress attendees, when faced with this situation. We feel that our right to exist as full member of LEN is threatened, and have therefore no other option than to fight against this decision, as much as we can.
More to follow, undoubtedly. Turning back to my situation, for instance when it comes to blogging here on Swimmer’s Daily, I’m not totally decided yet. I don’t know if it has ever been done before, to be president of a sport federation while chit-chat blogging about whatever else one finds interesting in the sport. I would like to keep it like it is – ‘a fast fix blog about swimming’ – but this might be tricky the more I get involved in heavy stuff like our dispute now with LEN.
And then there is the problem with finding time for everything, of course :-)
For now a good day to you all !
Rókur í Jákupsstovu
Featured photo is me and our two youngest taking a break during our climb of the old walking route from Gásadálur towards mainland, the day before yesterday. They’ve got stamina!
This was our view