Without any doubt, the 21st European Company Sport Games held in Ghent will be remembered as some of the best games ever.
For the city of Ghent, these games were the first mega 5 day multisport event ever organised. Besides the excellent sport infrastructures, the games also offered the opportunity to more than 5000 participants to discover the medieval capital city of Flanders, an unknown jewel according to several travel magasines and websites. The name of Ghent, city of sport, festivities, beer, cuberdon (sweet red noses), university, history, will certainly have been written down by many as a future city trip destination.
The newly created (January 1st) sport federation FROS MULTISPORT VLAANDEREN (merge between VLB and FROS), organiser of the games, couldn’t have dreamt of a better way 2to build its new team of collaborators. The FROS staff and several hundreds of volunteers demonstrated throughout the preparation -and certainly during the 5 days of the festival- their professionalism, knowhow and flexibility. Given the various issues that had to be dealt with in the run up to the opening ceremony, their performance was even more remarkable. Undoubtedly, these games will boost the company sport movement in Flanders and in Belgium.
For the 5200 participants coming from 22 countries and competing in 23 different sport disciplines, the Ghent games have been a marvelous experience offering sport, tourism and fun. The spirit they demonstrated on the sports field was exemplary and characteristic of the company sports movement as a whole and of the EFCS values.
From an EFCS perspective, the games have been a fantastic promotion of its main asset. The opening ceremony held in the great setting of the Bijloke, a hospital from the Middle Ages until the 19th century, and nowadays transformed into a cultural centre, was a feast of joy, dynamism, friendliness, socialising, and happiness. Sure, t2he sport activities suffered from the tropical temperature on Thursday. But despite these – at least for Belgium – unusual climatic conditions, the atmosphere, fair play and entertainment were always present. Saturday, traditionally the day of the finals and of the collective activity, saw a record 900 participants taking part in the Green run in the Citadel park in the city center. The real climax came later that evening when Didier Besseyre, EFCS president, Resul Tapmaz, alderman for Sport in Ghent, and Philippe Pacquay, big boss of Sport Vlaanderen, officially closed the games and handed over the EFCS flag to the representatives of the city of Salzburg and the Austrian Federation for Company Sport, who will host the 22nd edition in 2019.
Congratulations Ghent, FROS MULTISPORT VLAANDEREN and EFCS for a great job. We are already looking forward to the next games in Austria.