The first edition of the European Para Championships (EPC), a combined European championship for Paralympic sports, starts in Rotterdam on Tuesday. Andrew Parsons, the president of the International Paralympic Committee, will officially open the event on Monday evening.
Ten different sports, just under half of the total number of Paralympic sports, will take place in Rotterdam. These are archery, badminton, cycling, goalball, judo, taekwondo, shooting, boccia, wheelchair basketball, and wheelchair tennis.
Most of the sports will happen in and around Ahoy, but there are also outdoor locations like the Schouwburgplein, the Kop van Zuid, and the Scheepvaartkwartier where athletes come into action.
The EPC will run through Sunday, August 20. A total of 1,500 athletes from 45 countries will participate in the sporting event. In addition to winning European titles, athletes can qualify for the Paralympic Games in Paris next year. The intention is that the EPC will be a four-yearly sporting event, each time held in a different European city and in the year leading up to and in preparation for the Paralympic Games.
Davina Michelle and British Viktoria Modesta will perform during the opening ceremony. The latter is known as the “world’s first amputee pop artist.” The opening will also include a dance and various speeches.
Reporting by ANP