THE European Athletics Indoor Championships will come to Scotland in 2019 after Glasgow was awarded the event by European Athletics following a successful bid.
The event will be held at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena, which earlier this year hosted the prestigious Indoor Grand Prix, the world’s No.1 indoor athletics event, and the British Athletics International Match from 2013 to 2015.
More than 600 athletes from the 50 European Athletics Member Federation countries are expected to participate in the three-day event, making it one of the biggest sporting events ever to be held in Glasgow.
Glasgow previously hosted the European Athletics Indoor Championships at Kelvin Hall in 1990. More recently it was staged in Birmingham in 2007.
European 800m champion and Scottish record holder, Lynsey Sharp, is confident that Glasgow can deliver the best-ever European Athletics Indoor Championships in 2019. She said: “This is great news for Glasgow, for athletics in the UK in general and Scotland in particular. I’m sure it will be an amazing championships that athletes and the community will be proud to be part of. Competing in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 was a fantastic experience and I can’t wait to compete on home turf again.
“Scotland has proved that we can host great major athletics events and I’m confident that 2019 will be the best-ever European Indoor Championships.”
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s Director of Events, said: “We are delighted that Scotland has been awarded the right to host the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships, one of the world’s most prestigious athletics events and one that will enhance the country’s reputation as the perfect stage for events.
“Securing this event for the Emirates Arena, just a few months after the inaugural European Championships, cements Glasgow’s position as one of the world’s leading sporting cities and places Scotland at the very heart of European sport. We look forward to working closely with European Athletics in the coming months to deliver this landmark event in one of our flagship venues.”
Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “This is fantastic news for Glasgow and we are honoured that European Athletics have put their faith in us. We won’t let them down.
“It has been a momentous week for Glasgow, following on from our success at the SportBusiness Ultimate Sports Cities awards where we were named in the world’s top five sporting cities and recognised as the best in the world in terms of legacy.
“We are committed to delivering an athlete and spectator-focused European Indoor Athletics Championships in 2019. The hard work starts now but we are determined to deliver a world-class event that secures a lasting legacy for future generations.”
Niels de Vos, British Athletics Chief Executive, said: “It is great news for British sport that Glasgow will be the host of the European Athletics Indoor Championships in 2019. With the city’s amazing track record of hosting major events, in particular the 2014 Commonwealth Games and British Athletics events for many years, I’m certain that this will be a great championships.
“This event will cap off an exciting few years for British Athletics following the recent IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Cardiff, the 2017 IAAF and IPC World Championships in London and the 2018 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham and we’re confident of showcasing the best talent in European athletics.”
Nigel Holl, Chief Executive of Scottish Athletics, said: “This is simply wonderful news. Scotland is getting used to hosting a huge variety of top sporting events and to be able to add the European Indoor Championships in 2019 to that list really is fantastic.
“We know the Emirates Arena in Glasgow is a cracking venue for indoor athletics – and of course it becomes home for hundreds of athletes and officials from across Scotland every January to March period for our own indoor season. Seeing Europe’s best competing there in 2019 will be tremendous and I believe it will act as a further catalyst to inspire people in the sport. We’ve already seen that impact from London 2012 and Glasgow 2014.
“With the London World Championships in 2017 (IAAF & IPC) and now Euro Indoors in 2019, our role models will be on show ‘performing when it counts’ in the UK and inspiring the next generation into our sport. It is vital that I recognise the leadership and great work by the partnership that has put this bid together – all playing pivotal and critical roles. Many thanks to Glasgow Council and Glasgow Life, EventScotland and the Scottish Government, and of course UK Athletics. The team work has started in winning the bid – I know the team work will continue to deliver an unforgettable event in 2019.”