British Swimming has announced that London is an official bid city for the 2016 LEN European Swimming Championships with the capital’s new Aquatic Centre at the heart of the proposal.
The bid for an event that features Swimming, Diving and Synchronised Swimming, has the full backing of Mayor of London Boris Johnson and the Mayor's promotional organisation London & Partners, UK Sport and the Olympic Park Legacy Company. It was finalised with LEN representatives at a House of Lords reception hosted by UK Sport Chair Baroness Sue Campbell.
British Swimming Chief Executive David Sparkes said: "The agreement to work with LEN on a partnership to bring the 2016 European Championships to London will ensure the Olympic pool has an events legacy and will allow our athletes to prepare for their next Olympic milestone, Rio de Janeiro.
“A successful bid would also provide an additional legacy in terms of inspiring people within the surrounding boroughs to participate in swimming and to enjoy the health benefits this brings.”
A decision from European governing body is expected in September at the LEN Bureau Meeting in Portugal.
The championships have always been an aspiration for British Swimming, UK Sport, the Olympic Park Legacy Company and London. Since 2010 the partnership has worked to determine the feasibility of the UK hosting the event in the London Aquatics Centre.
Simon Morton, UK Sport’s Director of Major Events and International Relations, said: “UK Sport is leading the work to use London 2012 as a catalyst to bring some of the world's biggest international sporting events to the UK.
“In the past 12 months alone we've been able to use our position as an Olympic host nation to help secure future World Championships for the UK in Athletics, Gymnastics, Triathlon and Canoe Slalom. The 2016 European Swimming Championships, in the spectacular Olympic Aquatics Centre, would make a fantastic addition to this programme of major international events.
“We are working closely with British Swimming and the other event partners to finalise a strong funding package and a compelling bid proposal, which we hope will demonstrate to LEN why they should entrust the UK with hosting their most prestigious event in 2016.”
The European Championships would be followed closely by a large London swimming fan base which last week ensured the British Gas Swimming Championships at the Aquatic Centre were a sell out success.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: "Hosting the LEN European Swimming Championships in 2016 would see the largest event held in the Aquatics Centre after the Games and would build on the legacy of our Olympic venues as being the first choice for elite sporting events.
“Swimming has a huge following in London and staging this fantastic championships would not just be a wonderful accolade for our city but a chance for Londoners to enjoy some first-class sport right on their doorstep."
The Olympic Park Legacy Company is working with British Swimming and other National Governing Bodies for sport to ensure an ongoing programme of sporting events across all of its venues on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.
Andrew Altman, Chief Executive of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, said: “Major events such as the 2016 LEN European Swimming Championships will enhance the legacy of sporting, commercial and job opportunities on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park after the Games.
“The Aquatics Centre is a powerful draw and our bid is another example of how London is further ahead in planning legacy than any previous host Olympic city.”
Iain Edmondson, Head of Major Events for London & Partners said: "Securing the 2016 LEN European Swimming Championships for London would provide significant benefits for the city and another deliverable legacy from the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer.
“London & Partners is currently working closely with UK Sport and the Olympic Park Legacy Company to secure a programme of on-going major events which attract international visitors and investors to London. We are delighted to support British Swimming for what would be a major coup for the city's sporting calendar and further recognition that London is the best big city on earth for sport."
Notes to Editors
About British Swimming
British Swimming is the National Governing Body for Swimming, Diving, Synchronised Swimming, Water Polo and Open Water in Great Britain. It is responsible internationally for the high performance representation of the sport. The members of British Swimming are the three Home Countries national governing bodies of England (ASA), Scotland (Scottish ASA) and Wales. (Welsh ASA) British Swimming seeks to enable its athletes to achieve gold medal success at the Olympics, Paralympics, World Championships and Commonwealth Games.
About UK Sport
UK Sport’s World Class Events Programme currently distributes around £3.5 million of Lottery funding each year to support the bidding and staging of major international sporting events on home soil. Over 110 events hosted by at least 35 different towns and cities will have been supported from 2007 until the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, attracting around 30,000 athletes and over 27,000 opportunities for officials and volunteers to develop key skills ahead of London 2012. The success of this programme has led to the development of an ambitious event hosting strategy for the post London 2012 period, which will see National Lottery investment increase to £5 million per year. This programme will ensure a major events legacy for the UK by using our new event-hosting assets to establish the UK as one of the world’s leading host nations. Major events included within this programme will need to demonstrate the ability to support the performance objectives of British athletes, create high-profile opportunities to engage people with sport, use and demonstrate the legacy of London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 and drive positive economic and social impacts for the UK. Events already secured for the UK in the period 2013-2019 include the 2017 World Athletics Championships (London), 2015 World Gymnastics Championships (Glasgow), the 2015 Canoe Slalom World Championships (London) and the 2013 World Triathlon Championships Series Grand Final.
About Olympic Park Legacy Company
The Olympic Park Legacy Company was established in May 2009 by its founders - the Government and Mayor of London - as a public sector, not-for-profit company, responsible for the long-term planning, development, management and maintenance of the Olympic Park. Further information can be found on this website www.legacycompany.co.uk
From 1 April 2012, the Legacy Company will be reformed into a Mayoral Development Corporation called the London Legacy Development Corporation. The Legacy Corporation will have greater powers over the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and a wider area including planning and development control.
About London & Partners
London & Partners is the official promotional organisation for London. We attract and deliver value to business, students and visitors. London & Partners is a not-for-profit organisation, funded by the Mayor of London and a network of commercial partners. Our remit is to drive leisure and business visitors as well as bidding to secure major events in London, to unlock the city for overseas businesses who want to set up or expand in London and to promote the capital’s world class universities to international students. Our intention is to work in partnership with organisations in London and across the world to deliver our goal - that London be globally recognised as the best big city on earth.
For further details contact Dave Richards, British Swimming Head of Communications on 0778 992 6136 or email firstname.lastname@example.org