The European Athletics Council awarded the 2017 European Athletics U23 Championships to Bydgoszcz and 2017 European Athletics Junior Championships to Grosseto at its meeting on Friday in Oslo.
The Polish delegation led by Piotr Dlugosielski, General Secretary of the Polish Athletic Association and Iwona Waszkiewicz, Vice President of the City of Bydgoszcz, demonstrated their passion and desire and will use these championships to promote athletics as one of the most popular sports throughout the country.
Poland has experience in organising major athletics, Sopot having organised the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships, while Torun has hosted the European Cup Combined Events in 2011 and 2014, both of which were a great success.
Furthermore the annual European Athletic Festival in Bydgoszcz, a European Athletics Classic Meeting, is set to take place on Sunday 14 June.
The success of Polish athletes at the last European Athletics Championships in Zurich 2014 such as Adam Kszczot, Anita Wlodarczyk and Marcin Lewandowski, added to the hosting of the under-23 Championships will continue to strategically influence the development of athletics throughout the country.
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The Italian Athletics Federation has already successfully hosted the European Athletics Junior Championships in July 2013 in Rieti, and Grosseto was therefore a natural choice to host the event.
Italy will host the 2017 junior championships in addition to the 2016 European Mountain Running Championships in Arco and 2016 SPAR European Cross Country Championships in the southern Sardinian coastal region of Chia.
The delegation present in Oslo, led by European Athletics Council member Alfio Giomi, is working to re-launch the image of athletics and promote it towards the next generation of athletes and fans. Hosting the European Athletics Junior Championships is a continuation in trying to reach out to younger athletes and fans in order to develop the champions of tomorrow.
The Council was pleased with the impressive presentations made by both bidders for two of our most important events. The European Athletics under-23 and junior championships are crucial in the development of young athletes across the continent and we look forward to these two great events in collaboration with the Polish and Italian local organising committees.
This weekend's summit in Oslo is the European Athletics Council's 144th official meeting.