Our 2018 Aquatics Conference Programme will be available soon. In the meantime, take a look at the 2016 Programme below. 

This is the moment for Aquatics to lead and inspire the world’s sporting community. The Conference Programme will engage our audiences with international experts, address the major issues facing our sport, and identify key opportunities for its global expansion. 

The Conference will hear from a great many sports experts from both inside and outside Aquatics. Development, sponsorship, marketing, media, hosting, events – experts will discuss what it takes to succeed in each of these areas, helping Aquatics strive for continued success in the future. 


Saturday 3 December 2016
Sunday 4 December 2016
Monday 5 December 2016

17:30-18:30 – Opening Ceremony

Opening speech – FINA President, Dr. Julio Maglione –View speaker profile

Welcome address – Mayor of Windsor, Drew Dilkens View speaker profile

Welcome speech – Aquatics Canada President, Lisa Schott – View speaker profile

Keynote speech Minister for Sport and Persons with Disabilities, Canada, Carla Qualtrough

Objectives of the Convention  FINA Executive Director, Cornel Marculescu – View speaker profile


09:00-10:30 – 'Swimming for All – Swimming for Life' programme: Aiming towards a global reach

Launched at the 2014 FINA World Aquatics Convention, ‘Swimming for All – Swimming for Life’ teaches children to swim and, in partnership with UNESCO, aims to ensure swimming is a life skill gained by as many people as possible.

This session will provide the unique opportunity to reflect on the past two years; looking in depth into what makes this programme successful and will also give practical tools on how it can be implemented globally by governments, National Federations or swimming clubs.

Format: Individual presentations followed by a panel discussion


Sam Ramsamy, FINA Vice President – View speaker profile


Dr. Julio Maglione, FINA President – View speaker profile

Arnaldo Fuxa, Former Chairman of the Intergovernmental Committee for Physical Education and Sport, UNESCO (CIGEPS) – View speaker profile

Osvaldo Arsenio, Chairman, FINA Coaches Committee – View speaker profile

Alexander Schischlik, UNESCO, Chief of Section – Youth and Sport, Sector for Social and Human Sciences – View speaker profile


11:00-12:30 – Sporting Integrity: Discussing governance through positive leadership

Despite a recent backdrop of integrity issues in sport, FINA and its member Federations aim to lead the way in maintaining the honesty and image of Aquatic sports.

This session will shed some light on the current challenges faced by sporting organisations and will focus on key areas where sport leaders can make a difference within their own federation.

Format: Individual presentations followed by a panel discussion


Sam Ramsamy, FINA Vice President – View speaker profile


Jean-Pierre Morand, Kellerhals & Carrard – View speaker profile

Tricia Smith, President, Canadian Olympic Committee – View speaker profile

Donna de Varona – Olympic gold medallist, former world record-holder, and television sportscaster – View speaker profile

14:00-15:30 – The power of Aquatics: What can Aquatics do to contribute to a healthier society?

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), worldwide obesity has more than doubled since 1980. Even more alarming, more than 42 million children under the age of 5 are currently overweight or obese. But weight and obesity are largely preventable.

This session looks at how Aquatic sports can positively impact on both local and national communities.

Format: Individual presentations followed by a panel discussion


Dr. Margo Mountjoy, Bureau Member, FINA – View speaker profile


Chris Wilson, Director of Marketing Swimming Canada – View speaker profile

Dr. Robert Sallis, Advisory Board Chairman, Exercise is Medicine; former President, American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) – View speaker profile

Melissa Backhouse, General Manager, Participation & Sport Development, Swimming Australia Ltd – View speaker profile

Nancy Miyake, Regional Development Officer, Pacific Sports Partnership Program, Oceania Swimming Association – View speaker profile

Dr. Arno Schmidt-Trucksäss, Head of the Department of Sports Medicine at Basel University

16:00-17:30 – FINA Development Initiatives: Growing through FINA development programmes

FINA Development Programmes are designed to support the growth of National Federations, athletes, coaches and officials.

This session aims looking at all the specific programmes that FINA has launched and developed, and the reach they may have in the National Federations’ progress.

Format: Individual presentations followed by a panel discussion


Dale Neuburger, FINA Vice-President – View speaker profile


Sam Ramsamy, FINA Vice-President– View speaker profile

Mona Nyheim-Canales, Technical advisor for coaching in swimming – View speaker profile

Yassine Yousfi, IOC, Olympic Solidarity, Director of Coaches Section – View speaker profile

Bobby Bossman, Spire Institute, Head Coach – View speaker profile  

Joaquim Pujol, Pools for All – View speaker profile

09:00-10:30 – Brand Aquatics: Grasping the Commercial Opportunity - Working to create mutually beneficial partnerships

Sport represents a unique opportunity for commercial organisations positively to influence a global audience. How can National Federations, clubs, rights holders, and event organisers maximise their sponsorship value and work with brands to create mutually beneficial partnerships?

This session explains how sponsorship can be optimised to achieve results way beyond a commercial level.

Format: Individual presentations followed by a panel discussion


Peter Carlisle, Managing Director, Octagon – View speaker profile


Jim Andrews, ESP Properties – View speaker profile

Kazuhiro Kiyoshige, Dentsu – View speaker profile

Mr. ZHANG Da Zhong, CEO, Alisport – View speaker profile

11:00-12:30 – The Hosting Debate: Delivering a lasting legacy from Aquatics events

There are numerous benefits to hosting sporting events, many of which extend beyond economic impact.

This session analyses the issues cities need to address when hosting events, and examines how Aquatic events can be utilised to deliver a true socio-economic legacy.

Format: Individual presentations followed by a panel discussion


Cornel Marculescu, Executive Director, FINA – View speaker profile


Vladimir Leonov, Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Republic of Tatarstan – View speaker profile

Tamás Gyárfás, Co-President, OC of the 17th FINA World Championships 2017, Budapest (HUN) – View speaker profile

Peter Knowles, Executive Director, OC of the 13th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m) – 2016, Windsor (CAN) – View speaker profile

Balázs Fürjes, Government Commissioner for Major Budapest Developments & Chairman of Budapest 2024 Olympic Bid – View speaker profile

Eva Szanto, Executive Director of the Organising Committee for the 17th FINA World Championships in Budapest & Balatonfured

14:00-15:30 – The Digital Challenge: Creating a compelling fan experience

In an ever-evolving digital world, sport must embrace changes in technology.

Emerging technologies, digital broadcasting and new media platforms are driven by increased expectations from the modern day sports fan.

This session discusses the latest trends and opportunities within sport, and explores how Aquatics can innovate to remain relevant to a global audience.

Format: Individual presentations followed by a panel discussion


Claude Ruibal, Executive Director of Digital, Production & Sport Solutions at Infront Sports & Media – View speaker profile


Peter Diamond, Executive Vice President, Programming, NBC Olympics – View speaker profile

Andrew Muzafor Miah, Chair in Science Communication and Digital Media at the University of Salford – View speaker profile

Will Bastin, Events and Services Manager, FINA Office – View speaker profile

16:00-17:00 – Insights from Aquatics Champions: The future of Aquatics from the eyes of the athletes

Athletes have a big impact on the development of Aquatics. They understand the sport at all levels, grassroots to elite level, and are untapped resources to develop our sport.

This session hears star athletes across all FINA disciplines, fresh from Rio 2016, give their expert opinion on the challenges and opportunities in Aquatic sports.

Format: Interactive panel discussion


Matthew Dunn, Bureau Member, FINA – View speaker profile


Aaron Feltham, Olympian, water polo (CAN) – View speaker profile

Meaghan Benfeito, 3x Olympic medallist, diving (CAN)View speaker profile

Lázlo Cseh, 33x European Champion swimmer (HUN) – View speaker profile

Janet Evans, 4x Olympic gold medallist, swimming (USA) – View speaker profile

Gary Hunt, World Champion, high diving (GBR) – View speaker profile

Bill May, World Champion, synchronised swimming (USA) – View speaker profile


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