European Athletics is set to return to Glasgow for the first time in nearly 40 years when the city plays host to the 35th European Athletics Indoor Championships in 2019.
The countdown to the Championships officially started today (Sunday 5 March) in Belgrade, where Glasgow based athlete Laura Muir alongside UK Athletics (UKA) President, Jason Gardener, were handed the flag by the 2017 hosts on the final day of competition.
Glasgow previously hosted the European Athletics Indoor Championships in 1990 at Kelvin Hall Arena. The 2019 event will build on the legacy of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, The 2014 Ryder Cup and the 2018 Glasgow European Championships. It will also provide a high profile start to Scotland’s events calendar in 2019 as the country builds towards the prestigious Solheim Cup, the biggest event in women’s golf.
Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland Director of Events, said: “2019 is shaping up to be another stellar year of major sporting events for Scotland. Since hosting the 2014 Commonwealth Games and The 2014 Ryder Cup, our events industry has gone from strength to strength, attracting major events every year and justifying our reputation as a global leader in delivering world class events on a world class stage.
“EventScotland is proud to be part of the team that is helping deliver the Championships that will show Scotland once again as the perfect stage for events.”
Councillor Frank McAveety, the Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “Our athletes have shone in Belgrade and seeing them compete on their home turf will be one of 2019’s hottest tickets.
“The Emirates Arena is undoubtedly one of the world’s best venues for indoor athletics and we know Glasgow crowds are the best in the world.
“With Glasgow hosting the BWF Badminton World Championships in 2017, the European Championships next year, the European Athletics Indoor Championships in 2019, and UEFA 2020 and the world men’s curling championships the following year, it’s no wonder we’re in the world’s top 5 sporting cities.”
More than 600 athletes from the 50 European Athletics Member Federation countries are expected to take part in the three-day event at the Emirates Arena and will come just a few months after Glasgow hosts the inaugural 2018 European Championships.
Jason Gardener MBE, President UK Athletics and winner of four European titles, said: “The European Indoor Athletics Championships in 2019 returning to Glasgow is fantastic prospect to look forward to. As an athlete I know the European Indoors is a superb competition and the one I ended my indoor career at in 2007 when it was hosted in Birmingham. We know the events hosted in the UK can be a resounding success and I’ve no doubt Glasgow 2019 will be an amazing championships. The Emirates Arena will provide a superb athlete and spectator experience for indoor athletics and is sure to be an ‘edge of the seat’ experience.
“UK Athletics is delighted to work with partners Glasgow Council and EventScotland to deliver a world class experience for athletes from across Europe and with Athletics in Scotland thriving there is no doubt that a ‘home championships' in Glasgow will further inspire athletes across the country to memorable performances.”
Double European Indoor Champion and Great British athlete, Laura Muir, said: “I am delighted the next European Athletics Indoor Championships will be in Glasgow, which has been my home for the past five years. Glasgow has staged amazing athletics competitions so it’s going to be a great event for both athletes and spectators alike. Competing in front of a home crowd always gives you an extra boost so it’s going to be especially exciting for all the GB athletes involved.”
The Championships will be the latest opportunity to inspire the next generation of athletes to take to the track following the London 2012, Glasgow 2014 and this summer’s World Athletics Championships. Scottish Athletics has a strong track record in using major events to develop the sport across the country and plans are already underway to ensure the Championships are harnessed to their full potential.
Mark Munro, CEO of Scottish Athletics said, “We are delighted that such a prestigious event is coming to Glasgow and thank our partners for the opportunity and significant investment. We are confident of a strong Scottish contingent with a number of medal chances and look to ensure we also deliver a clear benefit in terms of inspiring the next generation of athletes into the sport”.
The 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships follows the IAAF and IPC World Championships in London in 2017, and the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham. It is being delivered in partnership between EventScotland, Glasgow Life, UKA and Scottish Athletics, and will further cement Scotland’s reputation as the perfect stage for events.