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Exploring the vision for Bristol's year as European City of Sport

Key figures from sporting organisations across the city met today to discuss the vision for Bristol’s year as European City of Sport and how to develop sporting opportunities for Bristol moving forward.

Community sports teams, sports organisations and representatives from Bristol’s professional sports clubs all came together to focus on improving participation in sport across the city, delivering sports events in Bristol and developing elite sport.

The year of sport will mark a celebration of the part sport and active recreation plays in every aspect of life across Bristol’s many and diverse communities.

A full programme of events for the year is currently being finalised, but will include, the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, with the Bristol County Ground, home to Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, one of five venues to host the global competition.

European City of Sport will bring together the best of what the city is already doing to support and celebrate sport with additional events or campaigns especially for 2017.

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for Bristol. We want to develop three aims for sport and want to do so with the full participation of sports organisations across the city.  We want to ensure sport and physical activity is inclusive and accessible to all, identify and deliver on opportunities to bring world class sporting events to the city and develop top class athletes and sportspeople along with elite teams in different sports.

 “Our overall participation rates in sport and active recreation are amongst the highest of all major cities in England. However, participation levels vary widely across our communities. Some groups are much less active than others and a large proportion of our population remains inactive. We must address this.

“We want to build on the passion and enthusiasm of individuals and local sporting organisations to help raise the profile of sport and physical activity across the city - from the grass roots community clubs right through to our elite sportsmen and women.

“We want to celebrate the role that sport places in our city, to promote healthy lifestyles and encourage people to be more active.   We will use our time as a European City of Sport as a platform to build on our achievements and grow for the future.”

Across Bristol there are a wide array of groups and organisations involved in delivering sports to local people and communities, and the aim is for everyone to work together throughout the year to highlight opportunities for everyone to get involved.

The European City of Sport title is awarded by ACES Europe, a not-for-profit group based in Brussels who promote sport across Europe.

Cities are judged on their sporting facilities, residents' level of participation, the success of local teams and sporting events.

Bristol is one of several European cities to be awarded the title, which is announced annually.

Joel Brookfield, Strategic Lead at Sport England said “Becoming European City of Sport for 2017 is a great opportunity for Bristol. Sport England is really looking forward to working alongside the Mayor and local partners to tackle inactivity and deliver improvements across the city.”

Physical inactivity is a very significant cause of ill health in the UK, and a leading contributor to rising levels of many long-term conditions, such as obesity, diabetes and dementia.

Councillor Fi Hance, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing said: “Exercise and physical activity play a vital role in living a healthy lifestyle, and we want to encourage everyone to get out there and be more active.

“We hope that being European City of Sport will help to showcase all the different classes, sports and activities available across the city, and inspire more people to take up a new active hobby.”

Click on the link for a video showcase of Bristol's sport: