This summer, Rotterdam plays host to the first quadrennial European Para Championships – the multisport tournament bundling the best of elite para sports in one location, to bring para sports to the people. It will be staged every four years and will always be hosted by a major European city in the year preceding the Paralympic Games. In 2023, the European Championships of ten different parasports will be organized simultaneously in one host city, for the very first time. The inaugural edition will take place in Rotterdam, the Netherlands from Tuesday 8 to Sunday 20 August 2023. At the event, 1,500 Paralympic athletes from forty-five different European countries will compete to become European Champions.
All sports that are part of the European Para Championships 2023 have a direct connection to the Road to the Paris 2024 Paralympics. Paralympic Qualifying Points can be earned during this event. Some sports even involve direct qualification for Paris 2024. By combining multiple European Para Championships on one occasion, we will create cross-pollination between sports federations, associations and other stakeholders.
The mission of the European Para Championships is to create a new standard for Paralympic sports events worldwide and to inspire people – with or without disabilities, rich or poor, young or old and regardless of background – to take up sports and exercise. We believe that only cooperation can help us succeed in this mission. By making connections, thinking big and believing in opportunities where others see limitations, we want to give adaptive sports the attention it deserves.
It is important to emphasize that the European Para Championships will not be a one-off event. Besides organizing the inaugural edition in Rotterdam, the Netherlands in 2023, the organizing committee develops the concept, scenario and event in such a manner that it will serve as a solid basis for guaranteeing the continuity of the event on the European sports calendar in 2027, 2031 and beyond.
Rotterdam, the second largest city in the Netherlands, will host the inaugural edition of the European Para Championships in 2023. The main hub, and therefore the venue for multiple sports, is Rotterdam Ahoy. In addition to this exceptional world-class indoor location, the European Para Championships 2023 will also use various outdoor venues in the heart of Rotterdam. These ‘city center courts’ ensure that the parasports come to the people, instead of the other way around. In this way, we present unique para sports in a high-quality way to Rotterdam and its residents & visitors. This allows them to get acquainted with parasport of the highest level. Enjoy top sports at unique locations!
Most of the competitions will take place in Rotterdam Ahoy, without a doubt one of the best and most professional event venues in the Netherlands. Very well known as the ‘biggest on earth’ since 1971. It offers a base for international artists, top sports professionals, politicians and celebrities. It switches effortlessly from a Justin Bieber concert to the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament. Another perfect example of Rotterdam Ahoy’s extensive possibilities is the Eurovision Song Contest, which took place there in May 2021. Of course, Rotterdam Ahoy is also perfectly accessible for disabled visitors. The same applies to any other locations that will be used during the event.
City Center Courts
Many outdoor locations in Rotterdam will also be the scene of battles for medals. For example, the finals of the Para Archery will be held on the Kop van Zuid and the best wheelchair tennis players will compete for gold on the Schouwburgplein. With these “city center courts” the organization brings the parasport to the people and presents the sports in a unique way to the city, its inhabitants and visitors.
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