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Granada selected to host the EUSA European Universities Games in 2030

The EUSA Evaluation Committee, which met on Saturday 20 April in Aveiro, Portugal, has selected the city and University of Granada to host the 2030 Games, based on the quality of their bid.

The city of Granada will host the EUSA European Universities Games in 2030, following a decision taken by the EUSA Executive Committee at a meeting held on Saturday 20 April in Aveiro, Portugal. The meeting was attended by the Mayor of Granada, Marifrán Carazo, the Rector of the University of Granada, Pedro Mercado, and the Director-General of the National Sports Council (CSD), Fernando Molinero. They were accompanied by the UGR’s Vice-Rector for Student Services and Campus Life, Juan Luis Benítez, the Director of the Sports Centre (CAD), Jordi Mercadé Torrás, and Granada City Councillor for Mobility, Ana Agudo, among others. After a brief presentation and defence by each of the three candidate cities – Granada (Spain), Manisa (Turkey) and Split (Croatia) – the Committee announced its decision to award the Games to Granada.

Both the Rector of the UGR and the Mayor have expressed their «enormous satisfaction» with the decision, which recognises the city and the University as perfectly suited to hosting international activities that involve a high degree of logistical and organisational complexity.

For Pedro Mercado, the decision «shows that we have been able to convey our capacity for coordination, internationalisation and the defence of the values embodied by sport and the University. We are extremely pleased because this event will also serve to set in motion the activities commemorating the fifth centenary of the University of Granada».

The Rector wished to pay special tribute to all the institutions that have worked tirelessly with the UGR to secure the EUSA European Universities Games, including Granada City Hall, the National Sports Council (CSD), the Regional Government of Andalusia, the Provincial Council of Granada, the Spanish Government, and the Alhambra and Generalife Foundation.

He also highlighted the work of all the UGR services and units that have been thoroughly engaged in the project, namely the Vice-Rectorate for Student Services and Campus Life; Sports Centre (CAD); Communications Management Office (OGC); Protocol and Institutional Relations Office; and Language Services Unit (USL) of the Vice-Rectorate for Internationalization.

For her part, the Mayor congratulated «the entire UGR team who have worked to deliver this important event for our city — an event that will have our full support as a city when it takes place in 2030».

«This is undoubtedly a unique opportunity to once again show the world the beauty, sporting spirit and hospitality of our city. I am certain that this event will help the University of Granada to strengthen its ties with other educational and sporting institutions across Europe,» she added.

Carazo continued: «This sporting event will give us international visibility and will make Granada the cultural and sporting epicentre in the 2030s, and, as you know, the city and University are also bidding to become European Capital of Culture in 2031. This combination of events would really put Granada on the world map, offering visitors and residents a unique experience», she concluded.

The EUSA European Universities Games will be organised by the UGR, Granada City Hall and the Provincial Council of Granada, with the support of the Regional Government of Andalusia and the National Sports Council (CSD). The Games are held every two years. For Granada, they will act as a vehicle to promote the fifth centenary of the UGR and, possibly, the designation of the city as European Capital of Culture. They will also serve to raise awareness of the 500 years of academic, social, cultural and sporting history of Granada among the entire European university and sporting community.

The Games will commence on 14 July 2030, exactly one year before the celebration of the fifth centenary of the University of Granada, which was officially founded on 14 July 1531 by means of a bull signed by Pope Clement VII. This date will mark the start of a span of days during which university sport will bring thousands of visitors to the city, be they athletes, technical teams, family members or institutional representatives. The event will be an opportunity for the city and the UGR to showcase their sports infrastructure capacity, while also promoting tourism and generating a positive economic impact for the city and province of Granada.

Historically, each edition of the EUSA European Universities Games has seen an increase in the number of participating universities and, with this, an increase in the number of athletes and officials travelling to each respective destination. In the last edition, held in Łódź (Poland) in 2022, the number of participants rose to 4,459 people, who represented 417 universities from 37 countries.

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