European Athletics President’s Welcome Message Ribeira Brava 2019
I am delighted to welcome everyone to the European Combined Events Team Championships First and Second League competitions here in Ribeira Brava.
For many of Europe’s leading multi-events exponents, Ribeira Brava has a special place in their hearts, not least because the First and Second League competitions were staged together here for the first time in 2014.
On that occasion, the idea of holding both leagues in the same place was born out of expediency and European Athletics remains grateful to the Portuguese Athletics Federation and the local organisers here in Madeira for stepping in at the last moment five years ago to also host the First League.
Ribeira Brava was already committed to staging the Second League – having shown its suitability as a venue when they hosted the Second League the year before and in 2011 – but graciously accepted the extra burden after circumstances dictated that the First League had to be moved from its original host.
However, everybody involved rose to the challenge magnificently and the successful way in which the competition was organised on that occasion showed that it was a formal that could work well, and it has been repeated ever since for these two leagues.
Consequently, it was an easy decision for European Athletics to award this year’s First and Second League competitions to Ribeira Brava again.
The Centro Desportivo da Madeira is a stunning facility, one which Madeira and Portugal can be very proud of, and has to be among the most picturesque tracks anywhere in Europe… I have been assured that the nearby volcano is extinct!
With excellent weather expected – I am told that rain in Madeira in July is almost unheard of – the men and women in action here will have everything required to help them produce their best on what has become one of the most important weekends on the calendar for Europe’s top multi-eventers especially since the format of a jointly-scored competition, which brings together men and women, was inaugurated in 2013.
For many competitors, this will also be a vital stepping stone en route to the IAAF World Championships Doha 2019 so I wish all the athletes here great success this weekend and for the rest of the season.
On behalf of European Athletics, I would like to thank the Federação Portuguesa de Atletismo and the Associação de Atletismo da Região Autónoma da Madeira, the public authorities of Ribeira Brava and the island of Madeira and all the volunteers and officials involved in the local organisation for their hard work and continued commitment in staging this competition.
Svein Arne Hansen
European Athletics President