After having hosted a “very successful” event for the first time in 2008, Albufeira is once again the venue for the 11th Down Syndrome World Swimming Championship in 2022.
The bid was presented by the National Association of Sport for Intellectual Disability (ANDDI) with the backing of the National Swimming Federation, Futebol Clube de Ferreiras and Albufeira Council.
The event, which will be held at Albufeira’s municipal pools, is expected to bring over 300 swimmers from 25 countries to the Algarve.
Albufeira council says in a press statement that the 2008 edition was the “biggest disabled sports event ever held in Portugal”. Thus, the council was strongly committed, along with the other entities that presented the bid, to bring it back to the town.
“It is a great honour and challenge for us to host and collaborate in organising such an important event for the second time,” said Albufeira Mayor José Carlos Rolo.
He explained that the fact that the organisers chose Albufeira again means that the “municipal pools continue to meet all the requirements of a championship of this size and that Albufeira is an inclusive town, which works to integrate citizens with disabilities”.
The big goal, he added, will be to ensure the 2022 World Championship will be just as successful as the one held in 2008.
Rolo also sent out his support to the athletes and their families who put so much “effort, work and persistence” into “overcoming their challenges, both in their day-to-day life and as athletes”.
The council also stresses that local sports club Futebol Clube de Ferreiras has been playing an important part in the development of disabled sports in the municipality, having started supporting disabled swimming back in 2015 with the project ‘Special 21’, which aims to take Down Syndrome athletes to the Paralympic Games.