Soon, when the European Para Championships are over, Rotterdam will have a modest, green reminder of the event. On Saturday the European Cycling Union UEC symbolically donated a tree to the city of Rotterdam and the organizers of the event for parasports.
The European Cycling Union UEC took the initiative last year to thank organizers and organizing municipalities for their efforts with a very special gift. With the sustainability agenda in mind, the UEC is doing so by donating a tree. “Each young sapling is planted in an appropriate location and not only symbolizes the co-operation between the local organizing committee and the city and UEC but displays an awareness and commitment to issues surrounding planet that exists today’’, said Enrico Della Casa, President of the UEC.
He and his colleagues previously planted trees – with help from the local authorities – in Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, France and Germany. The Rotterdam tree will be near the Caland Monument, on the Veerkade in the Scheepvaartkwartier.
On the spot, Alasdair MacLennan, General Secretary of the UEC, called the kind gesture “a small symbolic gift, with great significance. Not only do we want to use it to express our gratitude to the organization of the European Para Championships, but especially to the city of Rotterdam, where this event may take place. And above all, we want to show that the environment is very important to us as a cycling federation. We like to take as many steps as we can to become carbon neutral, a must in this modern world. Creating awareness is an important step, this tree can help a bit with that.”
By the way, it was decided to hand over a certificate for now. The tree will be planted when the seasons lend themselves to it and the square at the Caland Monument is redeveloped. Katarina Jakubova, member of the UEC Management Board, presented the plaque to Faouzi Achbar, Alderman for Welfare, Living Together, Sports & Digital Inclusion of Rotterdam. Eric Kersten, founder of the European Para Championships, was present at the presentation. Achbar thanked the UEC for the gift, expressed his enthusiasm for the European Para Championships and promised that “Rotterdam will take good care of the tree.”
At the European Para Championships ten different parasports come together. The first edition takes places Tuesday 8 to Sunday 20 August 2023. The next edition is planned for 2027.