Activities for the inaugural European Week of Sport (EWoS), which runs from 7-13 September at locations across 34 countries, will include nearly 300,000 runners taking part in 116 races registered for the event by European Athletics.
Working closely with the European Commission in Brussels, European Athletics has persuaded organisers of existing races across the continent to get on board and help promote the Commission’s initiative designed to raise awareness about the benefits of sport and physical activity.
European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen welcomed the positive response of the race organisers, saying that with their help athletics is making an important contribution to the overall success of the event.
“I will be meeting the European Commissioner responsible for sport, Tibor Navracsics, later this month and it will be my pleasure to inform him that European Athletics has really delivered on its promise to sign up at least one race in each of the participating countries,” said Hansen.
“I want to thank Vice President Jean Gracia, who spearheaded our campaign, plus the staff and others who were involved for all their efforts. This demonstrates our commitment to the promotion of fitness and underlines how athletics can be relevant in the lives of Europeans.”
The EWoS runs from 7 to 13 September and there is an additional EWoS promotional period from 14 to 30 September.
The slogan and Twitter hashtag #BeActive are the focus of the EWoS communications campaign, which is fronted by a number of sporting personalities, including world marathon record holder Paula Radcliffe (GBR) and the1988 Olympic Champion in the javelin, Tapio Korjus (FIN).
Commissioner Navracsics will lead the official EWoS opening today at the Mont-des-Arts Conference Centre in Brussels.
In addition to European Athletics, 33 partner organisations have committed to assist with the promotion of the event.
During the EWoS itself, there will be 72 races in 27 countries. At least four of the participating races are expected to attract more than 10,000 participants: the Copenhagen Half Marathon in Denmark (25,000), the SEB Tallinn Marathon in Estonia (20,000), the Wizz Air Budapest Half Marathon in Hungary (15,000) and the Bristol Half Marathon in Great Britain (12,000).
The remaining 44 races will take place in the EWoS promotional period.
“Right now the estimates are for just over 293,000 participants in total, but events are still signing up and the number could easily go higher,” said Gracia.
Gracia explained that European Athletics has promoted the EWoS in parallel with its “Running for All” project, which positions European Athletics and its Member Federations as active players in the running market.
Running for All features a system of safety and quality standards for road races, developed with the assistance of leading running experts, designed to help races promote themselves and integrate with the wider athletics movement.
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