Gymnastics and Golf are to join the prestigious line up of leading sports who will stage their European Championships together in 2018 for the first time in their history, it was announced today.
The two new additions complete the roster alongside Athletics, Aquatics, Cycling, Rowing and Triathlon, who have decided to come together for the first time for the European Sports Championships which will be staged in the Host Cities of Glasgow and Berlin.
The dates of the inaugural Championships were confirmed today as the 1st to 12th August 2018. Berlin will host the 2018 European Athletics Championships from the 7th to 12th August, with Glasgow hosting the six other European Championships over the 12 days.
The Presidents of European Athletics (EA), Aquatics (LEN), Cycling (UEC), Rowing (FISA) and Triathlon (ETU) welcomed European Gymnastics (UEG) and Golf Europe into a sporting partnership which will create a strong new multi-sport event on the world stage, attracting a projected television audience of around 850 million and an even wider audience via multiple digital platforms.
Following the decision of the European Sports Championships 2018 Board, the European Artistic Gymnastics Championships will be staged in Glasgow at the SSE Hydro while the brand new European Golf team championships, will take place at Scotland’s prestigious Gleneagles course.
The newly-formed 2018 Board also made the important step of ratifying the organisational rules and decision-making processes, ensuring strong governance going forward.
This innovative new approach by the governing bodies, who announced their plans earlier this year, brings the existing European Championships together from seven sports in a sustainable format once every four years in order to continue building their prestige, profile and media exposure.
Around 1500 athletes will compete in Berlin as part of the European Athletics Championships while approximately 3025 athletes will visit Scotland for the other six events. All seven Championships will be staged within the agreed date window.
The European Broadcasting Union (EBU), the consortium for the continent’s public service free-to-air broadcasters, will be the broadcast partner for the combined championships, which are expected to generate more than 2750 hours of programming across Europe’s biggest broadcasters.
The Golf event will be staged over 5 days and include men’s team, women’s team and mixed team competition. Two male and female athletes per nation will participate, with the top 16 European nations included.
The Gymnastics event will include both the Men’s and Women’s Artistic Championships, with around 600 athletes competing in Glasgow over six days. Adaptations around scheduling and timetabling will be agreed at future meetings.
European Athletics President Svein Arne Hansen said: “As one of the key sports, European Athletics has been happy to lead the process in the creation of the principles of good governance for the inaugural European Sports Championships, and we are pleased to move forward with this strong framework in place.
“We are looking forward to a fantastic European Athletics Championships in Berlin in 2018 as part of this exciting multi-sport concept. We are sure the European Sports Championships will bring additional values and benefits to athletics in Europe and to the Berlin championships.”
Paolo Barelli, President of the Ligue Européenne de Natation (European Aquatics), said: “One of the challenges this project had to face was to create a programme that could offer the best conditions for athletes to express themselves while also creating interest for the main TV networks in Europe. The result of very fruitful discussions allow me to express my satisfaction that Glasgow and Berlin will showcase one of the best events of all time.
“Each individual European Federation will create a fantastic programme that will maximise interest and LEN is proud to be a pioneering partner of such an ambitious project that will contribute significantly to the development of sport.”
Keith Waters, The European Tour’s Chief Operating Officer and Director of International Policy, said: “It is very exciting for Golf Europe to be invited to join some of Europe’s leading sports in the inaugural European Sports Championships, with three new European Golf Team Championships for female, male and mixed teams. This is part of our vision of encouraging all European nations to participate in golf, and it is fitting that Gleneagles will host the first staging of this event, having been the venue for last year’s Ryder Cup, when Europe memorably united through team golf.”
Ivan Khodabakhsh, Chief Executive of the Ladies European Tour, said: “We welcome this opportunity to join other premium Olympic sports at the European Sports Championships and are excited about the innovative golf events which will feature matches between national teams of women and men for the glory of being crowned European Champions. The coming together of these great sports and golf’s creative approach in two exciting weeks in August 2018 will truly be a treat for all sport fans.”
Georges Guelzec, President of European Gymnastics, said: “We are really excited to be included in the 2018 European Sports Championships as it represents a huge opportunity for Gymnastics to further raise its profile right across Europe. We can also think of no better city than Glasgow to host our 600 competitors who will compete in the men’s and women’s European Artistic Championships.”
Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Sport for the Scottish Government, said: “The European Sports Championships is shaping up to be a tremendous event for Scotland and Scottish sport. There is no better place than Scotland to play and watch golf. If last year’s Ryder Cup is anything to go by, it promises to be a fantastic event and a great showcase for what Scotland has to offer. I’m also delighted to be able to welcome another major gymnastics event to Scotland. This is a growing sport, and hosting major competitions like this will only help to build interest in gymnastics in this country.”
Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “With all the sports now confirmed for 2018 Glasgow is again ready to show the excellence and innovation with which it can stage world class events on the global stage. Major events have become a crucial part of our city’s economy and we can now look forward with tremendous excitement and focus to partnering with this fantastic group of sports to continue to create opportunity and help improve health and wellbeing outcomes for our citizens.”
EBU President Jean-Paul Philippot, said: “With seven sports now part of the first edition, the European Sports Championships will be the centrepiece of the sports season in Europe and public service media is proud to participate in the promotion of European sports and its athletes through extensive free-to air coverage across television, digital and radio.”