Bid for The Hague as European Sport Capital 2021

“If the bid for European Sport Capital is like a sports contest, The Hague is like a well trained athlete, and ready to win”: as Minister Bruno Bruins said on the 3rd of November 2017 in the Europahuis in The Hague.

Ladies and gentlemen,

mr Lupattelli and mr Swanson of ACES Europe

mr Eurlings on behalf of the IOC and NOC/NSF

And members of the European Parliament: mr Van Baalen and mr Gerbrandy

A warm welcome to all of you, right here in the beautiful city of The Hague.

Did you notice the large amount of cycling tracks?

This city is so well equipped for cyclists, that you might consider to leave your car at home next time. And spent an extra day cycling through our beautiful city!

Just as the large park in the city center is a splendid place to go for a run - during lunch hour you will meet many Hagenaars working out there.

And our beautiful sandy beach invites kite surfers, mountain bikers and joggers to enjoy some fresh air.

This city has sports written all over it!

Ladies and gentlemen, 

The Houses of parliament are just around the corner. So I felt this was the perfect opportunity to meet you today.

First of all in my new role as minister of Sports

But most of all as a very proud citizen of the city of The Hague.

I know this city quite well, both personally and professionally. And this place – including its superb football team ADO – has never let me down.

The city of international peace and justice

This city that houses our national government

And moreover, the city of numerous nationalities and religions

Directly situated by the sea, with a 7 mile long sandy beach

And, last but not least:

The city of sports!

Ladies and gentlemen,

If the bid for European Sport Capital is like a sports contest,

The Hague is like a well trained athlete.

It is a city with ambition. A city with a winners mentality.

A city with great experience, as a result of long training hours in organizing large sporting events.

In the past for example:

  • The Beach Volleyball World Championship,
  • The hockey World Championship.

And yet to come:

  • The World Championship offshore sailing
  • The Grand Prix Judo [djoe-doo]
  • The finish of the Volvo Ocean Race
  • and the Red Bull Knockout.

Yes, I am proud of this city. Top athletes from around the world can perform here under the very best conditions.

I am even more proud  because this city has managed to involve so many  citizens in its sports ambitions: children, grownups and elderly, with or without disabilities.

As volunteers, as active participants, as fans.

For sports is not only about top athletes.

It brings pride and joy to everyone. It inspires people, brings them together, it teaches children - no, actually - it  teaches everyone valuable lessons on teamwork, fair play and making the best of yourself.

I hope you will be convinced that The Hague is more than ready to be the European Sports Capital in 2021.

It is fit to perform.

And fit to win!

Thank you!