A three-day Chefs de Mission Seminar and two-day NOC Communications Managers & Press Attachés Seminar for the 2nd European Games Minsk 2019 came to successful conclusions today in the Belarusian capital.
The Minsk European Games Organising Committee (MEGOC) welcomed representatives from most of the 50 European National Olympic Committees (ENOCs) that will take part in the European Games next 21-30 June.
The Chefs de Mission gathered for three days of meetings on all functional areas and were given tours of the Athletes’ Village and 12 venues to be used for the Games, all but one of which is an existing facility. The tours gave the Chefs de Mission a better idea of the routes and times necessary to travel between the different venues. All 12 are within a 30-minute drive of the Athletes’ Village.
At a press conference at the end of the seminars, European Games Executive Director Simon Clegg said: “It’s fair to say that we had an excellent three-day Chefs de Mission Seminar. The local organisers have put together an excellent programme and I think that any of the international guests who saw the facilities could not fail to be impressed by the venues they have here. Particular praise was given to MEGOC for the work they have undertaken over the last couple of months. The Chefs de Mission who were here in March have seen significant progress. With 345 days to go there is still a great deal of work to be done, but we send back to the 49 countries that were represented here this week fantastic ambassadors for the European Games and Belarus as a country. I know the Chefs de Mission are all excited to come back next year with the best athletes from their countries to compete.”
MEGOC CEO George Katulin said: “The Chefs de Mission visit is one of the key events on the schedule of preparations for any large-scale sports event, taking place less than a year before it begins. We presented our reports on different functional areas for the representatives of the European National Olympic Committees. The main task of the experts, who have extensive experience at the Olympic Games, European Games, and other major events, is to get reliable information to ensure their athletes have a comfortable stay in Belarus so that they can perform at their very best. I am very pleased with the feedback we received from the representatives of the 49 ENOCs here this week. Their advice will help solve existing issues and best meet the needs of the various NOCs.”
The NOC Communications Managers & Press Attachés Seminar was also held on Wednesday and Thursday and also included members of national and international media. The roughly 30 participants were given presentations on relevant functional areas as well as a venue and city tour.
Erodotos Miltiadous, Press Officer and Assistant to the President of the Cyprus NOC, had high praises for the Belarusian capital: “Minsk is looking great, it's a clean and traffic-free city. We had the opportunity to tour the venues, which are all almost in place and ready, a year before the Opening Ceremony. They are excellent venues and I hope they will be full of fans in a year to encourage our athletes.”
In total, 4,082 athletes from all 50 European National Olympic Committees will compete in 15 sports in Minsk: 3x3 basketball, archery, athletics, badminton, beach soccer, beach volleyball, boxing, canoe sprint, cycling, judo, karate, sambo, shooting, table tennis and wrestling. Ten of the 15 sports will act as qualifiers for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, with the European Games also counting as the official European championships for four sports.
There will be 91 men’s events, 89 women’s events and 21 mixed events in total, with 115 universality spots available.