The focus of attention is on the forthcoming SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Samorin, Slovakia, on Sunday 10 December but the Local Organising Committee for the 2018 edition, hosted by the Dutch city of Tilburg, have already been busy letting people know that the championships will be coming to the Netherlands in little more than 12 months time.
As part of their commitment to making the championships a huge success on all levels, the Tilburg organisers have started to put into place a four-pronged ‘Legacy Programme’ looking to ensure that the event is remembered by not just potential runners but athletics fans and the general public across the country and beyond.
The ‘Legacy Programmes’ contains the following quartet of themes.
- Kids & schools/healthy lifestyle: Visits to schools to coordinate activities inviting kids to move and embrace a healthy lifestyle. At European Athletics Cross Country Permit Meeting in Tilburg on Sunday (26) a massive tent was installed alongside the course in which activities for kids were organised.
- Refugees/social intergration: The programme will invite locally-based refugees to join the LOC as volunteers to help their integration and to discover Dutch culture and way of life. Opportunities to meet and engage with sponsors and partners will be offered to potentially help the refugees with finding jobs or internships.
- Social interaction: funs runs with no competitive aspect e.g. no timing and no rankings, will be organised, including a night run followed by a party and a safari run through a zoo followed by a breakfast.
- An inclusive society: People living with a disability will be invited to participate in kids race in the form of a relay. The length of each leg will be decided among the team members.
Overall, the Legacy Programme underpins the Tilbury 2018 slogan 'creating crossovers', part of the event's philosophy to develop connections within the athletics family between groups of people in a diverse society that would often not encounter each other.
The objectives of these four elements of the ‘Legacy Programme’ is to create a connection with the people involved and use the championships as the start of extended relationships.
On the morning of the European Athletics Cross Country Permit Meeting in Tilburg, over a thousand kids took part in 14 races across all age groups and on the day before there were a series of relay races which involved people with various disabilities.
The Tilburg LOC has also made a significant commitment towards ensuring that the 2018 championships fulfil prevailing sustainability targets and has the following policies.
- Food supply and education: Cooperation with a Dutch Company promoting and serving healthy food as part of the national programme of which the City of Tilburg is a participant.
- Waste management: Recycling will be implemented throughout the event.
- Reducing carbon dioxide emissions
- Given the venue configuration, all team members will be able to walk to the venue from the hotels.
- The public will be invited to use bikes. Train + bikes rental and hotel + bikes rental will be available.
- Reducing waste: All event promotion will be digital.