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Preston celebrates year as Europe’s sporting city

28 January 2013

Press Office

Conference looks back on success of 2012

2012 was such a fantastic year for Preston but this month sees another chapter close. The honour of being European City of Sport will be celebrated on Wednesday 30 January, along with the official handover of the accolade to Lisburn, Northern Ireland.

The Health and Wellbeing conference, held at The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan), will see the Chief Executive of the NHS National Confederation, Local Government Lead for Sport and Physical Activity and UCLan Honorary fellow Mike Farrer discuss how physical activity and sport fit in to the new public health system. 

Other guest speakers will enthuse about Preston residents taking up the gauntlet and getting involved with sporting activities and living a healthier lifestyle.

The celebration then continues in the evening at Preston College, which will also see the launch of the eighth annual MWR Preston Sports Awards in March in recognition of local volunteers, without whom many of the sports clubs couldn’t operate.

Cabinet member for advice services, culture and leisure, Councillor Tom Burns, said: “The European City of Sport status and its connection with the Guild and Preston being a Healthy City has enabled a wealth and variety of activities to take place across Preston in 2012.

“One of the key targets was to achieve 100 or more registered sports events, which has been achieved, and many of these will be showcased on the day."

“One of the key targets was to achieve 100 or more registered sports events, which has been achieved, and many of these will be showcased on the day.

“I would like to add my thanks and appreciation to all those involved for making the honour of being European City of Sport for 2012 very special and also send good wishes to the residents of Lisburn for the forthcoming year.”

"The Health and Wellbeing conference, hosted by the University, will highlight the impact the European City of Sport status has made on the people of Preston who have taken up many new sporting activities.”

The Academic Director of Sport at UCLan and Chair of Preston Sport and Physical Activity Alliance (SPAA), Dr Adrian Ibbetson, commented: “Last year really put Preston on the sporting map with many successful events. 

“The Guild Wheel Cycle Route was officially opened, we held a very popular Sky Ride with over 7,000 participants and over 5,000 people came to the city to take part in Europe's largest corporate multi-sports event, the Corporate Games.

“Preston also welcomed international athletes from Oceania as they prepared for the London 2012 Olympic Games.  During their visit the athletes supported school sports events at both city and county level in order to help inspire children to participate in, and excel at, sport and physical activity.”

“We are looking forward to celebrating Preston and UCLan’s achievements throughout 2012 during the conference and awards evening.  The Health and Wellbeing conference, hosted by the University, will highlight the impact the European City of Sport status has made on the people of Preston who have taken up many new sporting activities.”