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City hailed by IPC chiefs as event closes in fine style

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: August 25, 2014

Organisers have hailed the success of the Swansea 2014 IPC European Athletics Championships.

Organisers have hailed the success of the Swansea 2014 IPC European Athletics Championships.

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PAUL Thorburn watched the curtain fall on the IPC European Championships at Sketty Lane — then declared Swansea had passed its test as hosts with flying colours.

An enthusiastic crowd saw Wales's Aled Davies claim gold for Great Britain and Northern Ireland on the final day, rounding off a successful championship for the home side.

And Mr Thorburn, chairman of the Swansea 2014 organising committee, reckons the host city also shone brightly.

"The feedback we have had from the IPC and some of their commercial partners has been hugely positive," said the former Wales rugby captain.

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"They've said the week has been an outstanding success.

"To have that kind of endorsement from organisations that include the likes of BP reflects well on the city and on the team who have pulled it all together."

Watching as the final action unfolded, Mr Thorburn continued: "We've been largely fortunate with the weather, while the venue has been excellent.

"Athletes will have found the logistical benefits of having a facility close to the accommodation in the university a huge plus. It's been nice and compact and has meant we haven't had people scattered around the city."

The five-day event attracted significant crowds and was acclaimed by Olympic greats Jonathan Edwards and Lynn Davies, plus Tanni Grey-Thompson, an icon of Paralympic sport.

Games' economy boost

A £1.4 MILLION boost to the Swansea Bay economy is expected from the IPC European Championships.

And regeneration consultant Lawrence Bailey thinks the projection is continuing proof of Swansea's appeal for sporting events and a visitor destination.

"There will have been a lot of advance spending," he said. "With 37 nations there will have been a lot of hotel occupancy. There will have been a local spend. There will have been specialist transport requirements, logistical costs and even supplying bottled water for every competitor."

Mr Bailey, who runs White Rock Consulting in the city, added: "Swansea's portrayal as a venue has taken a huge leap forward as a result of these games. I think people forget that there has been a long-standing attachment to athletics with the old Morfa Stadium. I have talked to organisers and sponsors and they say it has been a showcase, not just for the sport, but in terms of organisation."

Mark Orders / mark.orders@swwmedia.co.uk / @MarkOrders1

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4 comments

  • brochadav  |  August 26 2014, 2:12PM

    It is good to see Mr Thorburns words about sharing the Coomonwealth games across Wales. Most people outside Cardiff are fed up of that city getting everything. If we get the games, it's a chance for a much larger area to reap rewards. The initial funding to build facilities would be welcome as well as the money spent by visitors. Why should Cardiff get all that to itself. It should be a Welsh games that benefits as much of Wales as possible.

    |   2
  • hacker_jack  |  August 25 2014, 10:29PM

    Frankly I was very disappointed with it. It was very poorly advertised in the area until the week of the event itself, which lead to pretty poor crowds for the two days I was there. It seemed a much smaller event than the touch rugby tournament there the week before because of that. The athletes were great, the volunteers were great and the fans who turned up were great, but it could have been so much bigger.

    |   2
  • Ded55  |  August 25 2014, 7:41PM

    It's people like portalbert who give idiots a bad name. An excellent event and worth the praise its getting.

    |   10
  • portalbert  |  August 25 2014, 6:07PM

    Congratulations, Swansea hosted an event no-one had ever heard of.

    |   -12

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