With just over a month to go until the first edition of the European Para Championships (EPC), it’s time to start thinking about the future of the event. EPC-founder Eric Kersten hopes that multiple countries will put in a bid to host the next edition in 2027.
“Actually, our event is only successful if we could transfer the accumulated knowledge and the EPC-concept to another country,” Kersten said. “We therefore hope to receive bids from several countries by the end of this year.”
Interested countries must submit a so-called bid book by December 20 to have a chance of hosting the tournament in 2027. “We are extremely happy that a number of countries have already shown interest,” Kersten said. “Delegates from those countries will come to the observer programme in Rotterdam on August 12, where we will tell them all about (organizing) the event.”
While Kersten doesn’t want to reveal the countries involved, he is excited about the interest that has been shown. “It offers opportunities. It is great to see that there is already so much enthusiasm and interest, despite the fact that the first edition of the tournament has not even taken place yet. The potential of the event is already being recognized. And that again shows that we in the Netherlands are truly a guiding country. We have really started a movement in the world of parasports and are building something. Even though sometimes we really still feel like a start-up.”
Countries that have not yet applied but are interested in the observer programme can still apply until July 17 via Imke de Groot, Host Liaison Manager at email@example.com.
The observer program gives participants more insight into the event. “We will tell the participants all about the story of the EPC”, Kersten said. “During the program we will talk about what it takes to organize the event, as well as sustainability, financing and broadcasting. We will also discuss the importance of the event for the athletes and the importance for the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport and the International Olympic Committee (IPC).”
After the observer program on Aug. 12, there will be an opportunity for one-on-one discussions the following day. “We hope participants will then go home with all the information they need. Ultimately, I hope that leads to some great bids for the next edition.”
Although Kersten is thrilled with the countries that have already signed up for the observer program, he is open to sharing the knowledge gained with even more countries. “Until July 17 there is the possibility to apply, so take that chance. The tournament will be unforgettable anyway. We want to involve everyone in that. Especially those who want to organize the event themselves in the future,” Kersten concludes.