Crown jewel for the city of Rotterdam

Michiel Houdijk
Svende Langen

Sven de Langen is since 2018 alderman Sports in the city of Rotterdam. We asked him about equestrian sports and the impact of CHIO Rotterdam and the upcoming Longines FEI European Championships on the city.

For many people, the CHIO Rotterdam is an annual sporting feast, one which the city of Rotterdam is very pleased with,’ says De Langen. ‘It is a unique event in the Netherlands. What I really like is that equestrian sports bring businesses and spectators together.’

De Langen thinks it’s important for a top-level sports event to have more to offer than just spectator enjoyment. ‘I also want grassroots sports and associations to benefit from this event.’ This is why the organization of the Longines FEI European Championships and the CHIO Rotterdam came up with all kinds of side-events which will hopefully inspire many people to join an equestrian association. ‘I hope the European Championships will boost equestrian sports in this region, creating positive knock-on effects.’

Alderman De Langen expects the Longines FEI European Championships to create more excitement: ‘Competitors can qualify for the Olympic Games in three disciplines, so all riders will do their very best. Not only higher quality performances, but also greater buzz among the riders.’

Connected by Horsepower
What does the alderman think of ‘Connected by Horsepower’, the theme of the Longines FEI European Championships? ‘I have a lot of respect for people who do dressage and manage to impose their will on such large, elegant creatures. Being able to do this, that’s horsepower!’ There will be a lot of focus on the social context this year, including the ‘Work like a Horse’ initiative. ‘A really good programme which deserves every support. It’s commendable that a world class sports event is paying attention to this. It’s great that you can use horsepower to help society’s vulnerables.’

photo credits: Casper Rila

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