The Moroccan city of Dakhla received, Tuesday evening in Brussels, the award of the 2020 Euro-Mediterranean City of Sport during a ceremony organized at the European Parliament.
This distinction was awarded to Dakhla in recognition of Morocco's efforts for the development of the southern provinces, particularly in the area of sports.
It is also the result of the efforts made by local authorities, sports associations and clubs to make Dakhla a sporting destination of choice, in terms of organizing large-scale events throughout the year, developing infrastructure and implementing policies and programs aimed at promoting sports.
The award ceremony took place in the presence of several European personalities, including Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, MEPs, President of the European Capitals and Cities of Sport Federation (ACES Europe), Gian Francesco Lupattelli, President of the Municipality of Dakhla, Sidi Slouh Joumani, local representatives Hamdi Ahl Sayed and Elmami Ahl Ahmed Ibrahim, Morocco's ambassador to the European Union, Ahmed Rahhou, and civil society actors from Dakhla.
According to ACES Europe, Dakhla is the first city of Morocco that receives the sport award.
"The municipality has invested in mainstream and water sports, taking advantage of its climate characteristics and its geographical location," it noted.
Dakhla has organized several major sporting events over the past few years, including the African Kiteboarding Championships, the Kite World Cup, the Dakhla triathlon and the international open water swimming competition "Morocco Swim Trek".
The ceremony was also marked by the screening of a promotional film, developed by ACES Europe, on the sports assets of Dakhla.
The Euro-Mediterranean city of sport prize is awarded annually to a city that actively contributes to the development of sport and places sport as an instrument for integrating all social categories.
For the 2020 edition, Dakhla was the only city on the southern shore of the Mediterranean to have applied for this distinction.
ACES Europe is a non-profit association based in Brussels which assigns every year the recognitions of European Capital, City, Community and Town of Sport. The allocation of these recognitions are done by ACES Europe, according to the principles of responsibility and ethics, being aware that sport is a factor of aggregation of the society, improvement in the quality of life, psycho-physical well-being and complete integration within social classes in the community.