The municipality, which surrounds the city of Drachten, applied for the position last year
Translated by Thomas Ansell
As reported in the Omrop Fryslân, the municipality of Smallingerland applied to become European City of Sport due to it keeping sport high on its municipal agenda.
A committee from the European Capitals and Cities of Sport Federation (ACES Europe) then went to visit Smallingerland to see if it was eligible for the title.
The reaction from the committee was very positive, finding that the provision of sport within the municipality is well integrated into (for example) education. Aside from this, the committee found that Smallingerland has ample room for and a good selection of sports equipment and space.
Smallingerland will officially receive the title in December, at a celebration in the European Parliament in Brussels.
The initiative was spearheaded by Mayor Jan Rijpstra, who was earlier the mayor of Noordwijk in the province of South-Holland. Nordwijk was itself a European City of Sport in 2017.
The European Cities of Sport in 2019 included Batumi in Georgia, Coventry in the UK, Kumanovo in North-Macedonia; Livorno and Mantova in Italy, and Varna in Bulgaria.