Swansea will making its mark in Europe next year when European football teams will be joined by European Paralympic Athletes for the 2014 IPC European Athletics Championships – the first time the event has ever been held in the UK.
The successful bid, submitted by Swansea University, who will physically host the majority of the Championships, was based on a strong partnership approach involving The Welsh Government, The City and County of Swansea, Disability Sport Wales and British Athletics.
Hosting training camps for both Mexico and New Zealand Paralympic teams, Swansea proved its ability to deliver for disability sport in the build up to London 2012. Staging the Championships, planned for August 2014, will help build on this legacy and support Swansea University’s commitment as a leading sporting facility and continue the City’s dedication to inclusive sport.
Swansea University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard B Davies said: “We are pleased that the IPC has recognised that Swansea University, working with its partners, can deliver a high profile Championship event and acknowledges our commitment to disability sport.
“Wales is a proud sporting nation and nowhere is that pride more evident than when it comes to Paralympic and disability sport. Successive generations of Welsh Paralympians, coaches and support staff have contributed towards the success of our British teams.”
Minister for the Economy, Science and Transport Edwina Hart, said: “I’m delighted that all partners involved have been successful in the bid to attract the IPC Championships to Swansea. Following the hugely successful London Paralympic Games, hosting the event will create another major opportunity to further develop the sport of athletics and the promotion of disability sport within Wales and the UK. The event will also generate a significant economic impact for the city and region as well as enhance Swansea and Wales’ international profile and reputation as host of major events.”
Cllr Nick Bradley, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration said: “The success of the Premier League Swans and the Ospreys rugby team has already helped put Swansea on the international map, but the arrival of these major athletics championships will further reinforce our reputation as a top city of sport.
“These championships will continue to build on the great legacy of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. They will also boost the local economy by attracting thousands of visitors and will strengthen Swansea’s profile as a city that’s more than capable of attracting, hosting and staging major sporting events.”