Stoke-on-Trent European City of Sport plans outlined
A city-wide sporting event, a mass-participation 5km road race and a triathlon are just some of the events which could be coming to Stoke-on-Trent next year.
Plans are being drawn up to make sure Stoke-on-Trent's year as a European City of Sport in 2016 is one which increases participation in sport throughout the city, boosts civic pride and raises the profile of the area to a national and international audience, among many other benefits.
Stoke-on-Trent was awarded the prestigious title by ACES Europe in July, a not-for-profit organisation based in Brussels which is responsible for awarding the titles of European Capital, City, Town and Community of sport.
Judges who visited the city said they were unanimous in their decision to award the title to Stoke-on-Trent after being impressed by their passion and commitment shown to regenerate the city over the coming years, with sport and health firmly placed at the heart of the plans. They also praised the successful staging of the UK Corporate Games, which saw thousands of competitors from companies across the country compete in a range of sports at venues across the city in June.
In total, the city council has set aside up to £3.5 million to deliver the project and make it a real long-term success. The benefits include:
- Helping to raise the profile of the city and wider county/surrounding areas on a national and international stage.
- Improving the aspirations of residents
- Encouraging participation in physical activity and sport, which will improve the health and wellbeing of the population.
- Contributing to the local economy, supporting businesses and jobs, and using the status as a means to attract inward investment.
- Sustaining the benefits associated with being a European City of Sport, by creating a strong legacy post-2016, in terms of engagement and participation.
Research into previous European Cities of Sport (both in the UK and internationally) has shown the type of benefits the award can bring including attracting major sporting events and increased tourism.
Councillor Abi Brown, deputy leader of the city council, said: "Being a European City of Sport for 2016 will provide so many opportunities for the whole of Stoke-on-Trent. We want to give everyone the chance to benefit and be involved in what will be the most exciting sporting programme the city has ever seen.
"We have a brilliant track record of delivering top class events and a lot of working is taking place behind the scenes, working closely with national governing bodies of sport to see what we can bring to the city in 2016."
To bring your next corporate event to Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent in 2016, call the Staffordshire Stoke-on-Trent Conference Bureau on 01782 232076 for a FREE venue search.