The World Aquatics governing body, formerly named FINA, has voted for their headquarters to move to Budapest, Hungary, and to set up a foundation in Lausanne, Switzerland, the federation’s previous headquarters.
The decisions were made at the World Aquatics General Congress 2023 during the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan.
Hungary has hosted 25 World Aquatics events since 2013, including the World Aquatics Championships in 2017 and 2022. The World Aquatics Championships will return to Budapest in 2027, as will the World Aquatics Swimming Championships (25m) in 2024.
World Aquatics and Hungary also work together on the Stipendium Hungaricum Scholarship Programme, which gives up to 20 top international student-athletes university education alongside training support.
World Aquatics president Husain Al-Musallam said: “I have always said that our athletes must come first. This is a move that will put athletes at the center of our headquarters, in a training center. It will also save significant sums of money that can be invested in our athletes.”
During the World Aquatics Congress, members also approved establishing a World Aquatics Foundation in Lausanne.
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The foundation will oversee the federation’s development work, including training, learn-to-swim programming, coaches' and officials’ clinics and development, and programs that use aquatic sports as a tool for social betterment.
Al-Musallam added: "World Aquatics has had a very close relationship with the city of Lausanne since first establishing an office there in 1986, and it is a relationship that I am very committed to continuing long into the future.
“The new World Aquatics Foundation, based in Lausanne, will benefit aspiring athletes in every corner of the world. In addition, Lausanne will be the home of the Aquatics Integrity Unit, which is central to overseeing our good governance. I am delighted that Lausanne will continue to be such an important base for World Aquatics."
Last month World Aquatics appointed sports marketing agency Sportfive to manage global media rights sales for its events.
The multi-year agreement covers the ongoing World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan (July 14 to 30), as well as in Doha, Qatar, (2024), and Singapore (2025).