Centre of excellence.jpg

Centre of excellence

AN AMBITIOUS sporting project, worth around three million euros, to transform the area on either side of the Guadiana River into a top level sporting location has been unveiled and is due to be approved by the end of February.

The Baixo Guadiana: Zona Desportiva de Excelência para Todos (Lower Guadiana: Sporting Zone of Excellence For All) aims to unify Alcoutim, Castro Marim, Vila Real de Santo António (Algarve) and Mértola (Alentejo) with Ayamonte and Cartaya, in Spain, in providing quality sports facilities as well as staging regional, national and international sporting events.

The first of these events is due to take place in the Algarve and Andalusia between May 16 and 24. The Jogos do Baixo/Bajo Guadiana (Lower Guadiana Games) are open to all professional and non-professional athletes and participants do not need to be a member of a team or club.

The opening ceremony will take place in Alcoutim on May 16, while on May 17 and 18, there will be competitions for golf, sailing, kitesurfing, tennis, football, skateboarding, chess and petanque, which will be open to anyone.

From May 18 to 21, the sporting activities are aimed at schools, of which there are more than 20 already involved. The following two days will focus on the elderly, where there will be organised walks, gymnastics and traditional games.

The final day will feature the International Guadiana Regatta sailing race and organisers expect around 2,000 people to be involved in what they call the “anchor” of the entire project.

A portion of the funds are due to be used for infrastructural improvements to some of the participating venues of the Lower Guadiana Games.

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