FINGAL-DUBLIN GEARS UP TO HOST THE SPAR EUROPEAN CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS 2021

The countdown has begun to the much-anticipated SPAR European Cross Country Championships which is set to take place on the purpose-built cross country course at the Sport Ireland Campus on Sunday, 12th December 2021. The 2021 Championship will mark the second occasion that the event has taken place in Dublin, with the 2009 SPAR European Cross Country Championships taking place in Santry.

Ireland has enjoyed a rich history of success at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships from Catherina McKiernan’s gold winning performance at the inaugural Championships to the most recent medal haul in Lisbon (2019) which saw Efrem Gidey (Clonliffe Harriers) and Stephanie Cotter (West Muskerry) won individual bronze medals in the U20 men and U23 women’s races respectively. Cotter also led the U23 women to team silver whilst Fionnuala McCormack (Kilcoole A.C) guided the senior women’s team to another superb silver to record one of Ireland’s most successful Championships to date.

Tickets for the 2021 SPAR European Cross Country Championships will be available through the Championship website on Monday, 1st November 2021, simply log onto www.fingal-dublin2021.ie to purchase tickets. Online-ticket price is €8 (plus processing fee), children under the age of 16 go free.

These Championships will also mark a first for the SPAR European Cross Country Championships, with the national broadcaster RTÉ set to broadcast all 7 races live for what’s sure to be a thrilling day of athletics action at Fingal-Dublin 2021.

Liam Hennessy, Chairperson of the Local Organising Committee, believes December 12th will mark a special occasion in Irish athletics history: “We’ve had the honour of hosting the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in 2009 and the legacy left by the event is highlighted by the numerous individual and team medals won at the Championships in subsequent years. Hosting this year’s SPAR European Cross Country Championships will be another huge honour and we look forward to welcoming the best cross country runners from across European to Fingal, Dublin later this year as they will battle it out to be crowned the European Champion.”

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin attended the launch and commented; “It is great to see our athletes return to competition and to welcome international competitors once again. The Sport Ireland Campus is the home of Irish sport and has the potential to attract major sporting events in the future. We are proud to see it in use again on the European stage.”

Minister of State for the Gaeltacht & Sport, Jack Chambers added; “It has been a difficult time for athletes and event organisers but we are delighted to see the SPAR European Cross Country Championships back on the sporting calendar for 2021. It will be a great spectacle to see, and I wish all of the athletes, particularly the Irish athletes all the best for a great competition”.

John Treacy, Chief Executive of Sport Ireland added; “I am looking forward to welcoming the European Cross Country Champions to the Sport Ireland Campus on December 12th.  The cross country track here on the Campus is world class. We are proud to have athletes from all over Europe visit and see the level of facilities that are available in Ireland. There is always a great buzz around the Cross Country Championships and I look forward to welcoming athletes, coaches and spectators to cheer on the athletes this December”.

The Mayor of Fingal, Cllr Seána Ó Rodaigh said: “It is a great honour for Fingal to host the 2021 European Cross Country Championships once again having previously hosted them in Santry in 2009. Fingal County Council is looking forward to working with Athletics Ireland and Sport Ireland to stage this year’s event in December at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown.”

This year’s course is sure to provide the top athletes from across Europe with a true test of cross country running. Many of these athletes will have an opportunity to experience the 2021 SPAR European Cross Country Championship course on October 17th as the Autumn Open International sparks an exciting cross country season to life at the Sport Ireland Campus. For more information on the upcoming Autumn Open International log onto www.athleticsireland.ie .

The SPAR European Cross Country Championships Fingal-Dublin 2021 is proudly supported nationally by Sport Ireland, Fingal Country Council, Athletics Ireland, SPAR Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, RTÉ, Joma Sport, KIA, Clayton Hotels, Irish Runner Magazine, DCU and nTrai.

Log onto www.fingal-dublin2021.ie and follow Athletics Ireland on social media for up-to-date information on the SPAR European Cross Country Championship 2021.