First European Paralympics to be held in the Netherlands in 2023
The Netherlands wants to host the first European Parasports Championships in 2023, event ambassador Jiske Griffioen and Raymon Blondel of the National Paralympic Committee said to NOS. .
Parasports championships already exist in the United States and Asia, but Europe does not have an equal counterpart. “I think the parasport has earned an equivalent event”, Blondel said to NOS. Griffioen, herself a former wheelchair tennis player, added: “Really nice that the Netherlands came up with an innovative idea. This is great news for the Paralympic sports world.”
How large the event will be is not yet precisely known. “During planning, we proposed nine different sports and all were well received”, said Blondel. Those nine different sports include rugby, basketball, tennis and table tennis on wheels, as well as, wheelchair races, parajudo and boccia.
“We want to organize it in a large city and in the center, the centre courts. I think that for parasports the best way to make them more visible is to allow a large audience to experience this sport," Griffioen said.
Planning wise there is still a lot to be done both logistically and financially, but Blondel and Griffioen are optimistic. “We believe that the upcoming edition will be one of many and that the European para championships will return every four years.”