Istria candidate for title of European Region of Sport 2025

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Istria County is a candidate for the prestigious title of European Region of Sport 2025, awarded by the Brussels-based non-profit association ACES Europe, Istria County Prefect Boris Miletić announced at a press conference in Pula on Tuesday.

An ACES Europe delegation has arrived for a two-day visit to evaluate Istria's candidacy, touring the sports infrastructure in Labin and Pula and meeting with athletes and coaches. On Tuesday afternoon, they are scheduled to visit Rovinj.

"In the last ten years more than €60 million has been invested in Istria's sports infrastructure. In 2020-2025, allocations for sports by the county and 10 Istrian towns amount to €71.5 million," Miletić said, adding that the coveted title might make Istria an even more desirable destination for organising large sporting events.

Denis Ivošević, Director of the Istria County Tourist Board, said: "Istria is the most advanced and most important tourist destination in Croatia, generating 30 per cent of the total tourism business. As a curiosity, Istria is probably the largest tourist destination in terms of the number of tennis courts. We have nearly 600 of them and I think only Miami has more than us."

ACES Europe President Gian Francesco Lupattelli said that they want to see whether citizens of Istria engage in sports and recreation because that is good for health and can prevent many diseases.

The emphasis is on the fact that the regions holding the title must promote even more physical activity in all age groups, both among women and men as well as persons with disabilities, Lupatelli said.

This year's holder of the title of European Region of Sport is the Italian region of Valle d'Aosta, while next year the title will be held by Veneto.

The Commission is expected to announce its decision on the 2025 title later this month, and the official presentation of the candidacy is scheduled for December 2024 at the European Parliament.