Glasgow and Berlin set to host new European Sports Championships

The cities of Glasgow and Berlin are set to co-host a new European multi-sport event in 2018, it was announced today (Thursday).

The new event has been formed following a decision by some of Europe’s top sporting federations to bring together their European championships for the first time. Under the terms of the partnership between the Scottish city and the German capital, Glasgow will host four sports, including cycling and swimming, as part of the inaugural European Sports Championships.

Organisers said that given the heritage of the sport in Scotland, there is a further aspiration for golf to be included within the concept, with Gleneagles as the chosen venue. The event would be a legacy from Scotland’s staging of the Ryder Cup in 2014 and would give golf an additional showcase in a multi-sport event following its return to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro next year.

Swimming, involving nearly 900 athletes, will be staged at three venues with the main event at Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow and the diving and synchronised swimming at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh. The open water swimming competition is to be staged at Loch Lomond.

The four cycling competitions – track, road race, mountain-biking and BMX – will be held at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, the Cathkin Braes Mountain Bike Trails, on the streets of Glasgow and a new BMX track to be built in the city. Organisers said this will mark the first time all four cycling championships have been staged together.

Rowing and triathlon will see around 760 athletes compete at the Strathclyde Country Park in North Lanarkshire. Berlin will host athletics at the city’s iconic Olympiastadion.

Funded jointly by the Scottish government and Glasgow City Council, the new event in the summer of 2018 will seek to build on the staging of the Commonwealth Games in 2014. Organisers added that the 10-12 day event will also include a cultural, tourism and sporting partnership with Berlin.

Jamie Hepburn, Scotland’s Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, said: “Last summer Scotland showed the world what a tremendous job it can do when it comes to staging major sporting events, with the Commonwealth Games and the Ryder Cup both hugely successful. As part of the legacy of those events, we want to attract even more top class sport to Scotland, and the European Sports Championships is certainly in that category.

“The European Sports Championships will be another chance for Scotland to prove it’s the perfect stage for top class events. Not only will this be a fantastic opportunity for Scottish sports fans to see some of Europe’s top athletes competing in our world-class venues, it will also attract visitors from around the continent, providing a great boost to the economy.”

The unveiling of the European Sports Championships comes with Baku due to host the inaugural edition of the European Games from June 12-28. The European Olympic Committees (EOC) is currently undertaking the process to determine the host for the second European Games in 2019, with Russia, Turkey and the Netherlands all linked with bids for the event.