Coventry UK City of Culture 2021
Home | News and views | European City of Sport 2019

Latest News

European City of Sport 2019

Published: Thursday, 03 January 2019

European City of Sport 2019

It is officially the year for Coventry to be European City of Sport 2019

The title was awarded by European Capitals and Cities of Sport Federation (ACES Europe) and will celebrate all aspects of sport and wellbeing across Coventry.

An important part of 2019 will be to celebrate the opening of the new waterpark in the city centre as well as the new 50m pool at the Alan Higgs centre and the sports and wellness hub at the University of Warwick. 

The year will also focus on encouraging more young people – especially those who live in disadvantaged communities – to enjoy sport and lead an active lifestyle. This will build on the work that’s already achieving success thanks to projects like In It Together and Go Swim which are seeing people across the city return to sport and physical activity.

Leader of the Council, Councillor George Duggins, said: “European City of Sport 2019 is a special year for our city, and the perfect build up to City of Culture in 2021, with investment in community sports programmes and grants and huge investment in new sporting facilities – a £36 million waterpark with gym, health spa and squash courts and a new 50m swimming pool at the Alan Higgs Centre. 

“We already do lots to encourage our residents to be active and healthy and we will make sure that we work with partners throughout the year and beyond to encourage as many people as possible to get active. I’d like to thank the judges for their fantastic comments and all of our partners and local sports clubs who helped us get the win. I’m looking forward to a wonderful year with something for everyone.”

“A city that helps people to build sport and movement in to everyday life will be a better place to live and that’s what I want for my city.”

The year will be fittingly kicked off at the home of three of the city's sports teams - the Ricoh Arena and it will mark the start of what is set to be a memorable year for the city’s sporting scene.

High profile guests and delegates will take part in a presentation during the half-time interval of Wasps' Premiership clash with Northampton Saints on Sunday, January 6 - which kicks off at 3pm.

Some of the attendees include Coventry's Paralympian Kare Adenegan, who is BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year and Coventry and Warwickshire Professional Young Sportsperson of the Year 2018. Former 5,000-metre world-record holder David Moorcroft OBE will also be there along with Coventry City Council Leader George Duggins and Cllr Kamran Caan.

Ahead of the half-time launch presentation is a Wasps Nest Fan Village event in the Ricoh Arena's Ericsson Indoor Arena. Set to take place between 12pm and 2.30pm, it will feature a range of sports clubs, cultural organisations and sporting activities to inspire families to get active in the New Year. Wasps will have an inflatable rugby pitch there, while Wasps Netball will also have a crazy catch challenge and netball post. Sky Blues in the Community will have a power shot challenge, and Coventry Golf Club will be present with an interactive golf simulator. A six-station skill circuit will also be set up by CV Life, enabling people of all ages to take on different fitness challenges. Learning disability charity Mencap and inclusive cycling charity Wheels For All have also teamed up to enable visitors to have a go on various bikes.

Cllr Kamran Caan, Cabinet Member for Sport and Public Health, said: “I’m delighted that our year as European City of Sport is getting underway with such an exciting day of sport and culture for the whole family.

“We know sport and activity has a positive impact on physical and mental wellbeing so it’s great that there will be lots of opportunities for people to try something new.

“I’m looking forward to a really exciting year – during which time we hope to take events and sport out to people to encourage everyone to get active. If people would like to know more they can sign up to receive our City of Sport newsletter – just go to and sign up. It’s really simple and a great way to ensure you don’t miss anything"