22nd August 2013

Swansea 2014 IPC Athletics European Championships Launch

22 August 2013

Yesterday, Swansea marked one year to go until the city hosts the 2014 IPC Athletics European Championships. The local organising committee, partners, athletes and community figures were all present as Swansea 2014 unveiled its championship logo. 

Designed to reflect Swansea and Wales, the mark incorporates the blue, red and green of the IPC and Goldfox, and the team behind the logo said: “The mark represents everyone, by representing no one. That is to say, it intentionally doesn’t visually represent any people.

“Instead, we felt the best way to unite all athletes and supporters from all impairment groups and all walks of life, was to speak to them through emotions and values. The mark calls upon the Welsh dragon to embody the pride, power, and tenacity required to compete at the highest echelon of competitive sport. It is a mark that welcomes athletes, spectators and businesses alike to Wales, Swansea and the Championships, and asks that they come away from their engagement with a bit of the dragon’s spirit in them; empowered, proud and ready to take on the world all over again.”

London 2012 Paralympians Aled Davies (coach: Anthony Hughes), Josie Pearson (Hughes), Jenny McLoughlin (Darrell Maynard), Olivia Breen (Leroy Elliott), Stephen Morris (Chris Moss), Rhys Jones (Jane Coia) and Nathan Stephens (Hughes) were all in attendance at Swansea International Sports Village, and were joined by IPC CEO Xavier Gonzalez.

Paralympic and double world champion Davies spoke about his excitement about the event coming to his homeland: “After everyone raving about London and speaking about momentum, it’s great to have these championships in Swansea two years later. Swansea is my back garden and I only live down the road, so it’s a big deal for me and I know the city will put on a great show.

“We have a great team working on the event and a lot of people on board and sponsors, which is great. People are seeing the potential of the event, and I have no doubt the crowds and the biggest athletes will come here to compete.

“Since London, every time I go out there it’s pressure. Once you win once, people expect you to win all the time. I know living down the road and being pretty much a Swansea boy people will be expecting me to do great things. I don’t feel pressure, because I know what I’m capable of doing and I know after a strong winter, I’ll be in great shape. “

Chairman of Swansea 2014 Paul Thorburn, who famously holds the record for the longest successful kick (64.2m) in a rugby union test match in 1986 playing for Wales, believes that the city has the potential to deliver the best ever IPC Athletics European Championships.

"With one year to go to the exciting start of the 2014 IPC Championships I am thrilled that Swansea 2014 will be recognised far and wide with this groundbreaking branding. Staging the championships will be a great moment for Swansea and Wales. You can be assured that not only will we will deliver an outstanding Championships that the whole of Swansea and Wales can be proud of – we will also provide a professional and welcoming environment, reflecting the warmth of a nation unlike any other in the world.”

Gonzalez, who oversaw a successful IPC World Athletics Championships in Lyon last month is in no doubt that Swansea will justify the decision of awarding South Wales the championships, which take place between 18-23 August 2014.

“We are delighted that another major international athletics competition will be hosted in Great Britain, and particularly in Wales. Swansea 2014 cements and continues the legacy of a fantastic London 2012 Paralympic Games, and spreads that legacy further into the British Isles,” said Gonzalez.

We can be sure that in one years’ time Europe’s best athletes will arrive in this fantastic city looking to put in strong performances on their road to Rio 2016.”