30 August 2021
The European Olympic Committees (EOC) is pleased to announce the inclusion of beach soccer and kickboxing onto the programme of the European Games Krakow-Malopolska 2023.
Beach soccer returns to the European Games after proving to be a very popular sport at both editions Baku 2015 and Minsk 2019. In 2023, Polish fans will have the opportunity to experience all the sport has to offer, including top-class competition and a fantastic atmosphere.
President of Beach Soccer Worldwide Joan Cusco (ESP) expressed the importance of once again being a part of the Games in 2023. “It’s great to see beach soccer occupying such an important place at the European Games. We are honoured to be a part of the Olympic family and to have the opportunity to feature in an event as prestigious as the European Games is something that makes us very proud. We received a lot of positive feedback during and after the Games in 2019, and we are really thrilled to have the opportunity to stage another amazing spectacle and showcase what beach soccer is all about.”
Kickboxing, which has recently been proposed for full Olympic status, brings the total number of sports for 2023 so far to 20. The exciting, modern, contact sport is already part of the Asian Games, African Games, World Games and Combat Games, so the inclusion into the European Games was a natural next step. The World Association of Kickboxing Organisations (WAKO) has experienced significant growth over the past decade and the competition in Poland will see 128 Athletes competing for medals in both ring (full contact) and tatami (point fighting and light contact) disciplines.
“I am delighted at the inclusion of the sport of kickboxing into the official programme of the European Games 2023. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the EOC and local organising committees for making our inclusion possible. It continues our vision to showcase the very best athletes in Europe and share the positive and material values our sport has on the lives of people and the wider community that surrounds them,” said WAKO President Roy Baker (IRL).
EOC President Spyros Capralos (GRE) was delighted to welcome both sports on board for 2023. “Beach soccer has already been a success at our Games and its party-like atmosphere is again likely to make it a must-see sport for everyone in Poland. With kickboxing, they have a clear vision for the development of their sport and have been creating opportunities for their top athletes globally. We are excited to see them at our Games and look forward to having another modern and exciting sport being showcased at the continental level.”
Chair of the European Games Coordination Commission Hasan Arat (TUR) praised all those involved in bringing the two sports to Krakow-Malopolska. “We have been in discussions with both sports for a number of months and all sides are very pleased that we can officially confirm their participation for the Games in 2023. We are really building an interesting and diverse sports programme and are confident that it will prove popular across the continent.
”The European Games are the continent’s premier multisport event for elite athletes and are held every four years. Beach soccer and kickboxing join 3×3 basketball, archery, badminton, beach handball, boxing, canoe, cycling, karate, modern pentathlon, muaythai, padel, shooting, ski jumping, sports climbing, taekwondo, teqball and triathlon as sports already on the 2023 programme.
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