- National Lottery funded £27 million Gold Event Series will aim to bring over 70 of the world’s most prestigious sporting events to the UK, including 36 World and European Championships
- 2015 EuroHockey Nation Championships at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre will be one of the first events in the series
- Events targeted to support British athletes’ preparation and qualification for Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games
- An opportunity for 2.5 million spectators to continue to experience world class Olympic and Paralympic sport on home soil
- Flagship international events identified for eight London 2012 and five Glasgow 2014 venues
- Generating approximately £287 million additional expenditure in host cities and regions across the UK and over 250,000 overseas visitors
The Gold Event Series was unveiled on Wednesday by UK Sport and the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) as part of wider plans to develop the Government’s support for hosting major international sporting events, and continue the momentum generated by London 2012.
The continued hosting of major sporting events plays a central role in the Government’s long term sporting strategy, using the catalyst of London 2012 to attract prestigious events that deliver a range of sporting and economic benefits for the UK. The Government will work in partnership with UK Sport to support national governing bodies through the Gold Event Series. The Series, which is funded by £27 million of National Lottery good cause money, will create ‘A Stage to Inspire’ many of the legacy objectives of London 2012.
Liz Nicholl, CEO of UK Sport, said: “In developing the Gold Event Series, UK Sport is building on the success of London 2012 and supporting the UK’s on-going legacy goals. The continued hosting of world class events supports our athletes’ performance ambitions, provides a unique platform to inspire participation, and allows sport to contribute towards the economic growth agenda.
“The Gold Event Series would not be possible without ongoing support from The National Lottery and a close working partnership with Government.”
The performance prospects of Britain’s athletes will be boosted by specifically targeting a number of major Olympic and Paralympic qualification events to host on home soil in preparation for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Meanwhile the Gold Event Series will create high-profile opportunities to engage 2.5 million spectators with world class sport at venues across the UK, providing an ongoing platform to inspire the British public towards participation. UK Sport will work closely with national and regional partners, including the Home Country Sports Councils, EventScotland and The Welsh Government to make the most of this promotional opportunity.
With growth central to the future of the British economy, this programme will generate approximately £287 million in additional expenditure for the communities that play host to these events across the UK, allowing sport to play its part in the Government’s growth agenda.
Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson said: “One of the most important sports legacies of London 2012 is our ability to attract major events in the future – which boost the economy, increase tourism and encourage participation. We already have a fantastic eight years of great sport events planned and I want to attract more events in the years ahead.”
In preparation for London 2012, UK Sport helped stage 118 major sporting events in the UK, a programme recognised by the IOC as ‘an example for other host nations to follow’. Now, with increased investment from the National Lottery, the Gold Event Series will focus on attracting bigger, more targeted, events. A highly successful bidding campaign began almost two years ago, and 10 World and European Championships have been already secured for the UK in Athletics, Gymnastics, Triathlon, Hockey, Rugby League, Squash, Disability Swimming, Canoe Slalom and Eventing.
Simon Morton, Director of Major Events and International Relations at UK Sport, said: “The success of the London 2012 Games, both in preparation and execution, has put the UK’s global competitiveness in bidding for sporting events at an all-time high.
“UK Sport has been working on an ambitious hosting strategy beyond London 2012 to capitalise on this position for some time now, with the aim of establishing the UK as a world-leading host of major international sporting events.
“In developing the Gold Event Series we will work in partnership with DCMS to offer national governing bodies of sport the most comprehensive package of support of any nation, to give us the best chance of securing those gold-level events.”
The comprehensive support package6 is made up of 14 key areas to assist national governing bodies to ensure they can attract and stage the world’s most prestigious sporting events. These services will support both the bidding process (including assistance towards feasibility studies, business planning, political endorsement and technical bidding advice) and the delivery (including staging advice, equipment support, event research and knowledge transfer) of major events, with the highest levels of support prioritised towards the most strategically important events. One of the first events secured for the period beyond London 2012, that will be part of the Gold Events Series, was the World Athletics Championships in 2017, to be staged in the Olympic Stadium in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Ed Warner, Chairman of UK Athletics and WAC2017, said: “The backing UKA received from UK Sport and Government in securing the WAC2017 against tough opposition was crucial. As the biggest international sporting event the UK has never hosted, their technical and tactical advice, as well as financial security from The National Lottery, really made the difference this time.
“With UK Sport and the Government working closely together to bring prestigious events to the UK, I’m sure we will continue to go from strength to strength as a sporting host nation, and being part of the Gold Event Series will bring huge benefits to the sports involved, in securing, promoting and delivering world class events in the UK.”
The first event of the Gold Event Series takes place this weekend as the UCI Track Cycling World Cup comes to the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow (16-18 November). This will be the first major international event to take place in the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games venue.
SOURCE: adapted from UK SPORT