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Photo Credit: Tallinn Convention Bureau

ACES of Europe President Gian Francesco Lupattelli handed over the title of European Capital of Sport 2025 to Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart in Brussels last night.

According to André de Jeu, a Member of the Board of ACES of Europe, the European Capital of Sport title is first and foremost recognition and an award for a city with an outstanding sporting record that deserves to be highlighted at the European level. “Tallinn deserves the title of European Capital of Sport, and let’s celebrate this in 2025 with a wide range of activities and programmes. I hope that through the process of preparing for the title and the rich programme of activities that will take place during this year, Tallinn will find new directions and ways to develop the sport in an even more sustainable way and to contribute to it beyond the European Capital of Sport year.”

“As a Capital of Sport, we have a role to play as an advocate and promoter of physical activity and sport at the European level.”

According to Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart, the title of the Capital of Sport is an honourable recognition shared by the city for the contribution and dedication of all sports developers, athletes, coaches and sports fans over the years. “Just as an athlete’s journey to the podium of a world championship requires years, even decades, of dedication, hard work and teamwork, so too does achieving the title of European Capital of Sport. But with every accolade comes a responsibility: as a Capital of Sport, we have a role to play as an advocate and promoter of physical activity and sport at the European level,” said Kõlvart. “We have valued the development of community-based sport in Tallinn, and we have created a modern and versatile infrastructure for this. Now we have the opportunity to play our part in the development of community sport across Europe, and I am grateful for this trust.”

According to the Mayor, Tallinn has already started preparations for the European Capital of Sport title. “Our aim is to organize a variety of sporting events and activities throughout the year, which will provide exciting moments for athletes and all those who follow them,” said Kõlvart. “Tallinn will be the European Green Capital in 2023. To ensure a sustainable and healthy society now and in the future, we need to support and contribute to a lifestyle that supports both the environment and physical activity. But this requires long-term and consistent work, and this is what Tallinn will strive and work towards in the next and all the years to come.”

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Photo Credit: Mayors of Europe

An example for all other European cities

This spring, Tallinn applied to become a European Capital of Sport 2025 as a city that develops and promotes sport and values a healthy and active lifestyle. The application provided a comprehensive overview of Tallinn’s sports activities, infrastructure and plans to date. The validation panel that assessed Tallinn’s suitability to be the European Capital of Sport concluded that Tallinn deserves the title of European Capital of Sport, and thus sets an example for all other European cities.

The European Capital of Sport title has been awarded since 2001, as well as the world and regional (city, island, community, settlement) Capital of Sport or City of Sport titles. In Estonia, Kuressaare (2020), Elva (2021) and Rakvere (2022) have previously been European City of Sport. The European Capital of Sport was Malaga in 2021, followed by The Hague this year, Glasgow next year and Genoa in 2024.

Ahead of the European Capital of Sport award ceremony, representatives of the Tallinn delegation, Deputy Mayor Vadim Belobrovtsev and Deputy Head of the Department of Culture and Sport Aivo Normak, also got acquainted with the city of Brussels’ sports organization. Benoit Hellings, Deputy Mayor for Sport and Climate in Brussels, gave an overview of the activities, plans and challenges of the Brussels sports sector. It was jointly recognised that the current energy crisis has presented a challenge for all sports service providers and discussed how to ensure that sporting opportunities are available to as many people as possible in a growing population.

Find out more about Tallinn here.