Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept.3
Baku 2015 European Games Operations Committee (BEGOC) hosts its fourth European Olympic Committees (EOC) Coordination Commission ahead of next year's inaugural event Sept.3.
Members of the EOC Coordination Commission team will spend two days in Baku visiting competition venues for next year's European Games and receiving updates from BEGOC directorates, the Operations Committee told Trend.
It will be the EOC's first opportunity to see the new Baku 2015 branding displayed across the host city, and hear details about the recently updated sports program.
Azad Rahimov, Azerbaijan's Minister of Youth and Sport and BEGOC Chief Executive Officer, formally declared open the new Baku 2015 headquarters in a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Chairman of the EOC Coordination Commission, Spyros Capralos, and members of the Commission present Sept.3.
Four Azerbaijani Olympic champions, who will be ambassadors for Baku 2015, also attended the event. They are the Greco-Roman wrestler Farid Mansurov who won gold at Athens 2004; Freestyle wrestlers Namig Abdullayev and Togrul Asgarov who won gold at Sydney 2000 and London 2012 respectively; and shooter Zemfira Meftakhatdinova who won Skeet gold at Sydney 2000.
The commission was officially welcomed to Baku by Minister Rahimov. "Once more, it is an honor to host the EOC Coordination Commission. The Azerbaijan government is fully committed to making the first European Games a success and a great experience for the elite athletes of Europe," he said.
"These visits are extremely important milestones on the road to the inaugural European Games and we are looking forward to demonstrating our continued progress across all areas of the organization over the next two days."
"In recent months, we have made several important and significant steps towards delivery of an event that will unite Europe in a unique celebration of sport," the minister added.
"We are delighted to be back in Baku for the penultimate EOC Coordination Commission. In the four months since we last visited, BEGOC has built up real momentum across all areas of Baku 2015 preparations, especially in commercial sponsorships and communications - two areas for improvement which the commission identified in April," Spyros Capralos said.
"There are now only 282 days to go until the opening ceremony so this meeting between the EOC and BEGOC is crucial to optimizing the time left to prepare for the Games."
The new BEGOC headquarters are close to the Baku Boulevard, placing the team at the heart of the city and featuring large open-plan spaces and a highly advanced technology environment, which will ensure the next step in the organisation's development.
The building has a total capacity of 1,057 people and is approximately 11,000 square metres in size. It features an auditorium with capacity to accommodate 250 people, three kitchenettes and several meeting rooms per floor, shower facilities and a prayer room.
The BEGOC workforce currently stands at a total of 769 employees across 20 directorates. Of this total, 468 are Azerbaijani nationals, with the remaining 301 international employees coming from 37 different countries.
Baku 2015 is the first ever European Games, an exciting and innovative multi-sport event for the continent which will take place from 12 - 28 June 2015.
There will be a total of 20 sports at Baku 2015: 16 Olympic sports and four non-Olympic sports. More than 6,000 athletes from across Europe will be representing their nations over 17 days of competition.
Nine of the sports will offer qualification opportunities for the Rio Summer Olympic Games in 2016. Those sports include Archery, Athletics, Cycling, Shooting, Swimming, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Triathlon and Volleyball.
Baku was awarded the Games by the European Olympic Committees (EOC) in December 2012. The Baku European Games Operations Committee (BEGOC) will organise and run the Games in co-operation with the EOC.