The first edition of the European Paralympic Championship will be held in Rotterdam in 2023. The event comes from the TOC team, based in Oss.
The Almost two years The sports organizer TOC has been busy organizing the event for disabled athletes in the Netherlands. Now there is a green light. For the first time ever, European Championships for various sports will be compiled in and around the same host city. Around 1,500 athletes will attend Rotterdam from Tuesday 8 to Sunday 20 August 2023. The goal is to have 7 to 10 different sports, including cycling, wheelchair tennis, pocha, goalball, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby. , Table tennis, judo, and parasols are part of the new European Championship. Cycling and wheelchair tennis have never had a regular European championship.
Ahoy Rotterdam is the home of this event. Temporary outdoor playgrounds should also be built in the center of Rotterdam. “Especially in small sports and children’s sports where it is difficult to arouse the interest of the media and the public, we find it important to bring sport to the people. Full stands are what we strive to achieve,” said Eric Kirsten, founder of TOC.
Such tournaments do exist in Asia and America, such as the Asian Para Games and the Pan-American Games. This is the first time in Europe, but according to the TOC team, it is definitely not the last time. “We want to organize the event every four years after that, always in a different place in Europe. We want to keep the organization in our hands.” For athletes, the European Paralympic Championship is an important measuring moment in the run-up to the 2024 Paralympic Games in Paris. It is a qualifying moment for many sports.
Professionalize parachute sport
Minister Tamara Van Arck is aware of the plans and she is very positive. “In the Netherlands, we strive to be a leader in sporting events and sporting events. Through this initiative we show the world that sports are very important to us and we really believe that it helps to professionalize children’s sports in general.” Wheelchair tennis player and Paralympic champion Jesse Griffin is the event’s ambassador. “Everyone has a disability in some way. We want to show that we focus on the things that we can do and not the things that we cannot do. And I think this concept is a good example of that.” Griffin says.
TOC already has the experience of holding major sporting events, such as the World Shooting Championship in Show in Den Bosch and the World Cycling Championship in Emmen.
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