Other stadium proves a hit

Vila Real de Santo António’s stadium played host to 2,500 athletes last year, and bookings were up 7.8 per cent compared to 2002. The volume of bookings also led to an increase of 23.3 per cent of stays in the local hotel. The stadium is now one of eight accredited by the International Amateur Sports Federation, as a high quality stadium offering training to athletes and teams from a total of 30 countries. Local câmara president, António Murta, paid tribute to the facility, saying: “This stadium is now an obligatory reference point for the training of all kinds of teams and athletes because we combine good natural conditions and excellent technical facilities.” And Murta guaranteed that the local authority would continue to invest in the stadium: “We are going to construct an indoor athletics area that will permit the staging of events all year round,” he revealed.