On 21 March, Elva was awarded the title of Best European Town of Sport 2021 at the XXII ACES Europe Awards Ceremony in Turin, Italy. Seven other European towns were competing for the award.
ACES Europe has decided to award Elva the Best Town of Sport prize for its exceptional work in the field of sport. At the gala, the Golden Flag was accepted by the Sports Director of Elva Municipality, Madis Šumanov, who in his speech acknowledged the contribution of all sports clubs, coaches, students, the community and the government of Elva Municipality, which brought the well-deserved recognition. “The title is a sign of years of good work in a community that values sport,” Šumanov added.
The Mayor of Elva Municipality, Priit Värv, said that he was sincerely pleased that the decision to apply for the title of European Town of Sport was made in 2020. “My deepest gratitude goes to everyone who has contributed to making the European Town of Sport the best in Europe.”
Ivi Tigane, Head of the Elva Culture and Sport Foundation, who attended the gala, highlighted the benefits of the title. “Elva Municipality has been recognised at European level. We’ve created a spirit in which the activity of our community members can only grow. The award also certainly means more interest in our region and the opportunities it offers.” She added that Elva is a recognised cooperation partner in Estonia and Europe. “We can share best practices and participate in international conferences and seminars. We’ve increased our capacity to apply for support from different European funds.”
Martin Thomson, the Foundation’s Project Manager, has played a key role in this recognition, liaising with ACES Europe and leading the report writing process. In order to win the title of the best European Town of Sport 2021, a quarterly report had to be submitted on all sport-related activities in Elva Municipality. The submitted report can be found here: European Town of Sport 2021 (author Martin Thomson).
The gala was held in the grand Reggia Venaria Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Elva received its recognition along with 50 other cities. Madrid (Spain) and the Hague (the Netherlands) have been declared European Capitals of Sport 2022.Since 2001, the European Town of Sport title has been awarded by ACES Europe (European Capitals and Cities of Sport Federation), a non-profit partner of the European Commission. Last year, Elva was the only town in northern Europe to be awarded the title of European Town of Sport. After that, it competed with seven other European towns of sport throughout the year, with Elva coming out on top.