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Vejle the Capital of Parasport: 2019 is the Year of Parasport

For the first time ever in the world a city has appointed itself as the Capital of Parasport. 2019 is the Year of Parasport in the Municipality of Vejle in Denmark, where they put parasport on the agenda throughout all of 2019.

Vejle the Capital of Parasport: 2019 is the Year of Parasport

There are several ways to focus on a specific topic. Denmark has a reputation announcing capitals for especially sports related agendas. For the past five years, the Municipality of Vejle has raised the bar and set a clear goal of promoting parasport and including parasport in general sport. Vejle wants to create sport on equal terms and give possibilities to all its citizens. An investment they are convinced is paying off in the long run – not only in the form of more athletes and parasport opportunities, but also as a way to secure health and well-being and a more nuanced view of people with all kinds of disabilities.

- For the Capital of Parasport, the conditions for para athletes is vital and we have set a clear goal to develop, support, educate, and through this, we will make Parasport known and more common in all of our municipality, says Dan Arnløv Jørgensen, Deputy Mayor in the Municipality of Vejle.

In 2016 the politicians in the Municipality of Vejle formed a Parasport Council, a council that is broadly represented by members of sports associations, local companies, politicians and para athletes with this one task: to support the development of parasport in Vejle and create equal terms.

- In the Parasport Council we believe in partnerships and with the help of the municipality, members and leaders of the sports associations in Vejle together with companies, we can make a great effort, says Tage Schmidt, Chairman of the Parasport Council, and continues.

- As the capital of parasport in Denmark we work with many aspects and with many agendas, from developing and educating the members of the local sports club, to attracting major sporting events.

Home of Big Events
In 2015 Vejle hosted a successful European Championship in para tabletennis together with the national parasport association Parasport Denmark and Sport Event Denmark. The ambition of attracting international parasport events has been developed further in 2019, where Vejle, again in cooperation with Parasport Denmark and Sport Event Denmark, was the host of CPEDI 3* Para Dressage – an international qualifier tournament to the Paralympic Games in Tokyo – and now the 2019 IWRF Wheelchair Rugby European Championships. 

Furthermore, Vejle has dedicated 2019 to be 'The Year of Parasport'. Besides the two international events, Vejle wants to put focus on parasport throughout the year, with talks at the libraries, shows in the theater, speeches and expos in city center and much more.

Sport Event Denmark acknowledges the announcement of the Year of Parasport 2019, and Vejle as the Capital of Parasport.
- We see an exciting development with the Danish host cities, when they take it to a higher level announcing themselves as ‘capitals of,’ and appointing the year to the cause. Some years ago, Roskilde appointed 2011 as the year of cycling, and Silkeborg, just some 30k north of Vejle, is the outdoor capital, explains Lars Lundov the CEO of Sport Event Denmark.

A unique partner
For Parasport Denmark, who is also the National Paralympic Committee, Vejle's positioning and focus on para sport contributes to increase both para sports opportunities, attention and recognition of the sport, not only on a local but also on a national level, says Michael Møllgaard Nielsen, Sports Director of Parasport Denmark.

- It is a gift for us to work with the Municipality of Vejle, who puts a great effort in pursuing their admirable ambition. If something is not working, they will fix it – for example, they decided to make the nearby hotel accessible after the Para Table Tennis European Championships in 2015, so it now can accommodate more than 100 wheelchair users during the 2019 IWRF Wheelchair Rugby European Championships, he says and at the same time points out that the effort affects not only the best athletes.

- They are including all groups – children, young and adults, and both athletes with physical and intellectual disability. Generally all the citizens will experience parasport in the urban space and at different happenings in the city – all to spread the fascination of parasport as much as possible and hopefully inspire other cities to do the same.


Facts on Sport Event Denmark

Trusted partners are vital to any staging of major, international sporting events. Sport Event Denmark is the Danish national sporting event organization with the main objective of attracting and organizing major international sports events and sports congresses, and the organization has been involved in attracting and hosting sporting events – to Vejle. #sporteventDK