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    The Polish region of Silesia has added its support to the 3rd edition of the European Games 2023 and will join Krakow and the Region of Malopolska in organising the Games.

    The official announcement comes after an EOC delegation travelled to Poland for a four-day visit over the weekend. The trip involved meetings with the Polish Government, the Polish Olympic Committee, the organising cities and the Polish Tourism Organisation, as well as visits to a number of facilities.

    EOC Acting President Niels Nygaard led the EOC delegation and praised the steady progress that has been made since the last meeting between the parties in Rome in September 2020.

    “We are partners with the authorities in Poland and are ready to cooperate on this common project. 2023 will be a very special year, as the European Games will be the most prestigious event of our continent after the COVID-19 pandemic. Poland is a strong sporting nation and has all the capacities to host such an event.”

    During a meeting with the Polish Government, Deputy Prime Minister Jacek Sasin expressed his full support for this event: “On behalf of the Government, I would like to confirm all the declarations made so far, which include the support for the organisers in the field of logistics and projects related to the needed facilities.”

    The involvement of Silesia paves the way for athletics to join the programme for the 3rd edition of the Games and was welcomed by the Deputy Prime Minister. “I am glad that Silesia wants to co-organise the 3rd European Games, proving that athletics, a discipline that is very popular and successful in Poland, can now be included in the programme. The Silesian Stadium, which is a national facility, can host the best athletes from Europe in 2023.”

    A meeting with the Mayor of the City of Krakow Jacek Majchrowski, Marshal of the Malopolska Region Witold Kozlowski and representatives from Silesia Region focused on discussions regarding the sports programme, and the use of existing facilities. The sports programme already has 10 confirmed sports and the priority for all sides is to finalise the remaining sports in the coming weeks.

    EOC Secretary General Raffaele Pagnozzi emphasised the aim of staging a cost-effective, sustainable event.

    “The key word is flexibility. With Baku 2015 and Minsk 2019, we had two very different editions and two different operational budgets. Our goal is not to simply replicate what has been done in the past with a fixed model, rather to adapt to the needs of the hosts to deliver a memorable and successful Games.”

    With tourism having been significantly affected over the last year, the prospect of the Games being used as a tool to develop and promote the sector by encouraging people to visit the regions where the Games will take place was a welcome subject during a meeting with the President of the Polish Tourist Organisation Rafal Szlachta.

    Chair of the European Games Coordination Commission Hasan Arat spoke positively about the impact the Games can have. “The European Games in 2023 will be an opportunity for Poland and for Europe in general to continue the economic recovery after the COVID-19 crisis. We hope that the Games will stimulate tourism for Poland and result in a positive economic impact.”

    “We are so glad that the next generation in Poland will benefit from the legacy the Games will leave to the country, in terms of facilities, hosting events and the promotion of their country globally via media coverage. The previous editions of the Games were broadcast in 196 countries and territories with audiences of around 2 billion viewers and we expect this to grow for the Games in 2023,” Arat said.

    The EOC delegation also visited the European Indoor Athletics Championships taking place in Torun. Potential partnerships for the Games were discussed with the European Athletics Association (EAA) and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU).

    President of the Polish Olympic Committee Andrzej Krasnicki was encouraged by the meeting. “It was very good to meet the leadership of European Athletics during their championships in Torun. I am hopeful that in the near future we could manage to agree on the conditions to include athletics in the programme of the Games, where the best athletes will have opportunities to qualify for the Olympic Games Paris 2024.”

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