As an example of Maribor’s good practice in preparations and hosting of various sports events, the 2nd largest Slovenian city, collected in December 2017 its title as the European City of Sport 2018. This title, as Maribor’s Mayor Mr. Andrej Frištavec noted at the announcement of the award, grants to Maribor a promotion as a sports destination and encourages the residents to do more sports. General Secretary of ACES Europe (the European Capitals and Cities of Sport Federation) Mr. Hugo Alonso, additionally noted that Maribor was an excellent example of a city providing sports opportunities to everybody, serving to boost health, integration, education, and respect.
The European Capitals and Cities of Sport Federation (ACES Europe) is a non-profit federation based in Brussels which has granted the awards of European Capital, City, Community and Town of Sport every year since 2001. The awards are given for a period of one calendar year. The European City of Sport is a title awarded to a municipality that has an official population of between 25,000 and 499,999, in the European continent.
Maribor this year, in the frame of the programme as the European City of Sport 2018, has so far hosted several sports events, including the AETF Senior and Junior European Taekwon-Do Championships, the IXS European downhill cup, the Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship Division II, and the Vinoeuro, the European football championship of wine producers.
The upcoming events are the FIMBA European Maxibasketball Championship (European Basketball Championships for veterans) between 22 June and 1 July, while between 17 and 26 November Maribor will host the European Kickboxing Championships. In addition, Maribor is well known for one worldwide attraction – the annual Golden Fox FIS Ski World Cup which was held in February 2018, while its celebratory 55th edition will be held in February 2019.
In addition to Maribor, the title is held in 2018 by Antequera (Spain), Arnhem (Netherlands), Banka Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Bassano del Grappa (Italy), Braga (Portugal), Cluj Napoca (Romania), Differdange (Luxembourg), Foligno (Italy), Forli (Italy), Guadalajara (Spain), Kielce (Poland), Klaipeda (Lithuania), Kortrijk (Belgium), Nitra (Slovakia), Pau (France), San Remo (Italy), San Cugat del Valles (Spain), and Santa Lucia de Tirajana (Spain).