For those of you that have read about it – here’s some more information on what it actually means to be a ‘European City of Sport’ and how Preston will be celebrating its recognition as an Active City as part of the global sporting community.
What is the European City of Sport?
“Sport, like music, is something universal, something that is understood all around the world, regardless of social, ethnic or religious differences. Not only sport is universal, but also its values”
Dr. Jacques Rogge, IOC President
The Objective of the European Capital of Sports Award is an ethical commitment conscious of the social function that sport has as linking factor between the physical wellbeing of individuals, the general improvement in their quality of life and the harmonious integration of society.
The allocation of this prestigious recognition is led by the European organisation ACES, who encourage sport as a factor of a cohesive society, improvement in the quality of life, psycho-physical well-being and complete integration within social classes and hard to reach groups. ACES works with the European Commission and above all on the initiatives presented in the “White Paper of Sport”.
Sport will have a strong focus on the Guild programme particularly at community level where local clubs and organisations are busy planning. We expect to have over 100 sporting events large and small during 2012 including the hugely-anticipated UK Corporate Games which will see thousands of everyday athletes arrive to the City of Preston to compete in 22 sports over 4 days.
Why was Preston awarded European City of Sport 2012?
Following their application Preston City Council and its key partners, the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), NHS Central Lancashire, the School Sport Partnership, Preston Sports Forum and Preston College hosted a two day visit by ACES assessors. The opportunity was taken to showcase a broad range of work and demonstrate the impact of sport and physical activity showing connectivity to the city’s aspirations in 2012 for both an Olympic and a Preston Guild legacy. Assessors were undoubtedly impressed by the merits of the application through meeting proactive and supportive partners,
visiting facilities and feeling the passion that exists for sport at a grassroots level in the city.
What benefits will it bring for Preston?
European City of Sport designation and its connection with Preston Guild will enable a wealth of activity to take place in 2012 encouraging greater participation and ultimately a more healthy population leaving a lasting legacy.
The aim is to create or brand at least 100 facilities, events and activities under the European City of Sport brand aligned with the People’s Guild and Preston’s World Health Organisation (WHO) Healthy City designation. Schools, clubs and communities will rise to this challenge and be supported by branding material to recognise the combined prestige of these three brands which will work in synergy across the course of the year.
European City of Sport is led by four Principal Partners: Preston City Council, UCLan, Preston College and NHS Central Lancashire. They are supported by Preston North End FC as an official partner and by sportswear manufacturer Surridge as official kit supplier.