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Isle of Man is Runner-up in European City of Sport Award 10 August 2007

The Isle of Man National Sports Centre has achieved the runner-up award in the European City of Sport competition.

Following the recent visit of a team of assessors from the European Capitals of Sport Association, Leicester became the European Capital of Sport on behalf of the United Kingdom. However, to quote the Secretary of the Association, John Swanson: ‘It was a very close-run contest between Leicester and the Isle of Man and the latter can be truly proud of its facilities and its strategies for Sport. As we witnessed, the staff on the Island were full of enthusiasm, commitment and passion for delivering their services to the public.’

A letter from the Association’s President, Gian Francesco Lupattelli, highlighted the following areas:

• There is a well thought out strategic sports plan in place, which is linked to the Government’s corporate plans

• Strategic plans are implemented via action plans

• The Government has excellent working links with its sporting clubs, the voluntary sector and other statutory agencies

• There is clear Government support for the contribution sport is playing in positively promoting the Isle of Man

• Staff employed to promote sport across the Island are dedicated, highly experienced and add considerable value to the capital and revenue investment made by the Government.

This year’s award is the first time the Association has organised a National competition for non-capital cities (under 500,000 population) for the United Kingdom. Similar competitions have been held in Italy and Spain last year and it is hoped to extend this to other European Countries in the near future.

The Association has been organising its main competition, the European City of Sport Award, since 2001 for capital cities (or cities over 500,000 population) when Madrid were the first winners. Since that time the Award has gone to Stockholm, Glasgow, Alicante, Rotterdam, Copenhagen and, in 2007, Stuttgart.

Department of Tourism and Leisure Political Member for Sport & Recreation, Mr Quintin Gill MHK, commented:

‘It is a great achievement for the Isle of Man to do so well in this prestigious competition, which highlights the contribution Manx Sport & Recreation make to the social well-being of the Island. It must have been difficult for the assessors to compare a small Island like ourselves with a large city like Leicester, with it’s many inner-city issues, which makes the fact that we ran them so close even more creditable. I would like to convey my sincere thanks to all the staff and volunteers involved.’

The first National Awards were made in 2006 with Palermo, Sicily receiving the Italian Award and Bordelia receiving the Spanish title.

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