Brussels. At an award ceremony on December 5 at the European Parliament, the Mayor of Maribor, Andrej Fištravec, received the title Maribor - European City of Sports for 2018. By winning this award Maribor received confirmation that sport is an important part of the city and that it has been taken good care of.
Maribor got this prize by being a good example of a city providing sports opportunities to everybody, boosting healthy lifestyle, integration, education and respect among its citizens. In 2018, the city hopes to promote itself as a sports destination and encourage the residents to do more sports.
As reported in the Slovenian media, with this award, the municipality of Maribor together with the sports associations from the region will encourage more active lifestyle among its citizens, promote domestic and foreign sports tourism, and most of all, will attract even bigger European and world championships in Maribor, noted Maribor’s Mayor Andrej Fištravec, and added that this will have a great effect on tourism and the overall economy of the region.
Maribor will host several sports events next year, including the FIMBA European Maxibasketball Championship, the AETF Senior and Junior European Taekwon-Do Championships, and the Ice Hockey Women's World Championship Division II.
From the Maribor municipality they say that a detailed calendar of sports events would be released for 2018 and the project would be promoted in Slovenia and abroad. However, the title European City of Sport does not provide additional funds to the cities that hold it.
In addition to Maribor, the title European city of sports 2018 will also be held by Aosta, Antequera, Arnhem, Banja Luca, Bassano del Grappa, Braga, Cluj, Cluj Napoca, Differdange, Foligno, Klaipeda, Kortijki, Nitra, Pau, San Remo, San Cugat del Valles and Santa Lucia de Tirajana, whereas the European Capital of Sports this year is Sofia.
The title is assigned by the European Association of Capitals and Cities of Sport (ACES Europe), a non-profit association based in Brussels which assigns every year the recognitions of European Capital, City, Community and Town of Sport. The allocation of these recognitions are done by ACES Europe, according to the principles of responsibility and ethics, being aware that sport is a factor of aggregation of the society, improvement in the quality of life, psycho-physical well-being and complete integration within social classes in the community. ACES Europe is recognized by the European Commission in the White Paper (Art.50).