Portimão has been named the ‘Best European City of Sport’ of 2019. The distinction was awarded by ACES Europe, a non-profit association based in Brussels described as the ‘European Capitals and Cities of Sport Federation’, and followed an independent assessment carried out by the Fundácion Deportiva Municipal de Valencia.
By the end of September, Portimão had hosted 614 sports events, 344 of which were open to the general public and 146 were competitive.
All in all, over 556,000 people took part in the activities, which spanned a total of 60 different sports, 20 of which had never been organised in Portimão.
Another highlight is the fact that the town hosted 20 events for people with disabilities.
Portimão council says that its run as a ‘European City of Sport’ is believed to have generated “around €4.4 million of potential revenue” against a €3.8 million investment, which included the construction of the new Boavista Sports Pavilion – to be inaugurated in December – and a new BMX track at the local Parque da Juventude.
Portimão Mayor Isilda Gomes says that this latest distinction brings an “amazing year to an end” and awards the commitment of all those who contributed to the success of the project.
She adds that many athletes who took part in the activities were delighted by the warm welcome they received and the “great conditions” they found in Portimão.
She also highlighted the “quality and quantity” of events that Portimão hosted and the impact they had on the life of local citizens, adding that the initiative will create “lasting roots that will promote physical activity among the population”.
Other European towns and cities that boasted the title ‘European City of Sport’ in 2019 were Coventry (UK); Fuenlabrada, Granada, Igualada and Soria (Spain); Livorno, Mantova, Oristano and Vercelli (Italy); Ganja (Azerbeijan); Batumi (Georgia); Kumanovo (North Macedonia); Michalovce (Slovakia); Paggaio (Greece); Sisak (Croatia); Torun (Poland); and Varna (Bulgaria).