It’s official: Veneto is the European Region of Sport 2024. The recognition of ACES Europe is a goal for the community that, according to the most recent data, ranks second in Italy in terms of number of citizens who practice sports.

Sports are practiced by 43.8% of the Veneto’s population, with 481,517 members representing 10.4% of the total, while the region ranks third in terms of the number of companies, with 5,435. The Veneto is therefore recognized as an open-air gym capable of supporting all types of athletes, from amateurs to world champions, and now has an extra recognition: ACES Europe. A confirmation of the Veneto-sport binomial, which was already emphasized by the announcement of the 2026 Olympic Games, which will be held precisely between Lombardy and Veneto.

What is ACES Europe and what are the European Sports Communities?

ACES Europe – Federation of European Capitals and Cities of Sport is a non-profit organization established in Brussels and UNESCO partner. ACES has been awarding the Capital, Community, City, and European Municipality of Sport since 2001 with the mission to promote sport in the European Union, with a focus on children, the elderly, and the disabled.

Each year ACES Europe awards the recognition of the European sports community to territories with certain characteristics of excellence that promote initiatives related to sport, well-being and quality of life. As for Italy, two communities per year can win the prize.

The main objectives of the European Sports Communities 

  • Fun with physical exercise; 
  • Willingness to achieve goals; 
  • Strengthen the sense of belonging to the community; 
  • Learn fair play and improve health;
  • Promoting health, wellness and sport values for all age groups (children, young people, families, amateur sportsmen and professionals). 
  • Create moments of community, support and events throughout 2021 that enhance these themes.