European City of Sport 2011
North Lanarkshire is proud to announce that we have been voted the European City of Sport for 2011 for the UK. This award was made by ACES (Associazione Capitale Europee dello Sport, i.e. The European Capitals of Sport Association). The work of ACES is supported by the European Commission as detailed in the following extract from the white paper on sport, which is the strategic policy document for sport adopted by the European Commission:
"The Commission will also seek to promote greater European visibility at sporting events. The commission supports the further development of the European Capitals of Sport initiative"
(p18, Action Point 50)
Aswell as the European Capitals of Sport award which is available for the Capital cities with populations over 500,000, ACES also bestow the European City of Sport awards, for cities and/or administrative areas which populations of 499,999 or less. This award is only given to areas that can demonstrate appropriate civic leadership and commitment to developing and promoting sport at all levels and specifically delivering against the five ACES manifesto pledges of:
- Enjoying exercises
- Willingness to achieve
- Experiencing community
- Learning fair play
- Improving health
Following our application in late November 2009, the inspection delegation headed up by the ACES President Gian Francesco Lupattelli visited North Lanarkshire in January 2010 to inspect facilities, programmes and activities throughout the area with the award being received in the European Parliament in Brussels in November 2010.
Photo (left to right) - Blane Dodds, Chief Executive North Lanarkshire Leisure, Gian Francesco Lupattelli, ACES President, Cllr. James Logue, Chair of North Lanarkshire Leisure, Rita Barbera Nola, Mayor of Valencia and John Swanson, Ravenscraig Facilities Manager receiving the European City of Sport flag in the European Parliament in Brussels on 29th November 2010.
This is a tremendous result and was very much a team effort between the North Lanarkshire Council and North Lanarkshire Leisure and our other strategic partners; including the voluntary sector in developing sport in North Lanarkshire. Alongside the International Childrens Games in 2011, the London Olympics in 2012, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Ryder Cup in 2014 this continues to raise the profile of sport in the area to ensure that more people are more active more often and increase participation and performance in sport from grassroots through to elite performance.
Some of the photos from the official opening of Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility and the launch of North Lanarkshire European City of Sport for 2011 are shown below.