The idea of holding the opening ceremony of the 30th Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championships in Baku is to demonstrate the unity of the rhythmic gymnastics and art, Vice President of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation, Altay Hasanov said.
Hasanov made the remarks on June 12 at a press conference on the 30th Rhythmic Gymnastics European Championships.
The much anticipated event is to last from June 13 to June 15, and will take place at the National Gymnastics Arena in Baku. Some 258 gymnasts from 33 countries are expected to compete for nine sets of awards.
Hasanov said the rhythmic gymnastics and art are interrelated.
"There are certain elements, and we will try to show them at the opening ceremony, and you can evaluate them for yourself," he said.
Hasanov stressed that all the active participants of the ceremony are members of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation, coaches, and the choreographers of the national team.
"It is very important for us. This is an initiative of the national team's head coach, Mariana Vasileva," he said.
He went on to add that Azerbaijan is holding the European championship in gymnastics for the third time, and the country once hosted the World championship.
In comparison with the previous years, the employees and the staff of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation and the championships' Organizing Committee have already gained certain experience, Hasanov said.
He also underscored that all the necessary factors have been taken into account to hold the championships at the highest level.
Azerbaijani Gymnastics Federation's vice president also expressed satisfaction with the level of readiness of the Azerbaijani squad.
"Our head coach works very well; she has gathered a good squad. These are talented young people, and I hope the performances of our athletes will be at a very high level, and we will achieve success," Hasanov stressed.
He also said the main strategy of the President of Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation, Mehriban Aliyeva, is to promote this sport across Azerbaijan, and to develop it's beyond Baku.
"In the early years, we made attempts, and finally we achieved this. You know that our schools were created in Kurdamir, Ismayilli, Ganja, Sumgait, Gusar and Goychay. This mass character has led to the growth of rivalry in this sport," Hasanov added.
Hasanov stressed that one of the problems that the national team's head coach is facing is the rivalry within the team itself, adding that the gymnasts realize that hard work is the key to reaching top places at championships.
Another problem, according to Hasanov, is psychological mood of the athletes.
"They say that playing at home helps, but sometimes it's the opposite. Our gymnasts have a very big responsibility upon their shoulders," he noted.
Hasanov said the National Gymnastic Arena was commissioned in Baku prior to these championships, and the athletes are now adapting to the arena.
Hasanov went on to add that the federation's staff is great, united, and it gets comprehensive support from government structures.
"We feel the support from Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev and the Federation's President Mehriban Aliyeva," he stressed. "So, I think we will succeed. We will confidently strive for the world championships in artistic and rhythmic gymnastics, and will hold the world cup stages, not only in rhythmic gymnastics, but in other types as well," he said.
Hasanov also wished all athletes to successfully perform at the competition.
He said this kind of sports already has fans in Azerbaijan, adding that unlike in the previous years, today it is impossible to get the tickets for the tournament, because everyone wants to attend the competitions.