The mayor of Cartagena, Noelia Arroyo, has defended before the Evaluation Committee the history, spaces and sports projects of a municipality “proud of its sporting tradition, a cosmopolitan and open city, which has been a point of entry of peoples and crossroads of civilisations since ancient times”. “Possibly our amphitheatre, built in the time of Augustus, is one of the oldest facilities on the peninsula where something similar to sport has been practised”, said Arroyo, who defends that from that amphitheatre to the most modest calisthenics facility, “there are hundreds of spaces open to sport in a municipality in which nature itself offers itself as a track, as a court or a regatta course”. She also recalled municipal initiatives launched in the pandemic, such as the online programme “Sport at home, Don’t lose the rhythm”, to keep citizens active. In terms of sports facilities, the mayoress highlighted the significant investments made in recent decades to provide a network of sports facilities in keeping with the city and its neighbourhoods and districts.
In total, 354 municipal spaces dedicated to sport, with a total surface area of more than 410,000 m2. This is in addition to the sports facilities of other public and private entities operating in the city, such as the Speed Circuit, 16 Yacht Clubs, 4 military sites, the La Manga Club golf course, the sports facilities of the Port Authority, three sports complexes managed by the Polytechnic University and 8 marinas, among others. And he defended the fact that of the municipal budget, almost 9 million euros are dedicated exclusively to sport, with a budget increase in the last three years of over 25%. In terms of planned investments, around 13.5 million euros, almost 4 million for sports facilities and more than 4.1 million for the refurbishment and maintenance of facilities.
For the mayoress, “this European designation would undoubtedly favour the holding of more and larger sporting events. It would add its impetus to that of the Capital of the First Spanish Water Sports Games, which the Region of Murcia holds for the year 2022, and which has in Cartagena one of its main venues. The sporting projection means economic recovery and the reactivation of tourism in off-season periods,”