European City Of Sport
Cardiff has been chosen to represent the UK as a European City Of Sport for 2009.
As part of its term, Cardiff will host the UK School Games.
The Welsh capital was awarded the title following a two day visit by judges from the European Capitals Of Sport Association (ACES).
The judges were shown around the city by members of Sport.Cardiff, inspecting sporting facilities across the city and the wide range of programmes on offer.
The title means the city now ranks as a major centre for sporting excellence and good practice, with Cardiff representing the UK in a European-wide network of premier sporting cities.
The five main objectives of ACES are enjoyment in exercise, willingness to achieve, sense of community, learning fair play and improvement of health. All the judges felt these objectives were all met by the city and the Sport.Cardiff team.
ACES president, Gianfrancesco Luptelli, said: "The inspection team from ACES were impressed by Cardiff's commitment to sport for all through extensive sports development schemes and inclusion pricing policy to attract maximum usage from your citizens.
"The development work going on in schools to promote health, fitness and sports for young people is also something your city can be proud of. Most of all we were impressed by the commitment, enthusiasm and passion shown by all the staff involved in the delivery of your sports services - without them nothing can be achieved.
"We also noted the considerable amount of capital expenditure that the council and its partners have invested in the city and are delighted that further investments are planned in the future".
Councillor Nigel Howells, Executive Member For Sport, Leisure And Culture, said: "It has long been acknowledged that Cardiff is now recognised on the world stage as a first class destination for sporting events - but what this award demonstrates is the incredible hard work that goes on in the city promoting sport and ensuring people have access to a great variety of sporting schemes and programmes.
"Cardiff has made a significant investment in development officers, coaches, volunteers and partnerships and this award recognises the investments Cardiff has made in sport and the effort that has been made to encourage participation from all communities".
Sport.Cardiff is a team of dedicated development officers who provide quality opportunities for children and young people throughout the city to develop in their preferred sporting field.
Boasting the largest team in the country,?they work with a wide range of sports and physical activity programmes. This includes after school sport for all of Cardiff's 100 primary schools, 20 high schools, and disability schools.
This year, in conjunction with governing bodies, Sport.Cardiff have helped to qualify 1,319 coaches. They also?support over 500 sports and community clubs and have helped over 100 clubs and community groups access in excess of £270,000 in grant aid. The team also manages 30 disability sports clubs with over 1,500 members.
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