One of the pledges made by UEFA when it moved to the town of Nyon, on the shores of Lake Geneva in western Switzerland in 1995, was to foster healthy relations with the local sports community.
UEFA's pledge led to the creation in early 2000 of the Foundation for the Development of Sport in Nyon. This body's administrative board comprises the Nyon town mayor, the municipal official responsible for sport, and a member appointed by the UEFA Chief Executive.
Its aims include encouraging young people to practise a sport, by giving subsidies to Nyon sports bodies or individuals to set up and develop education and training programmes for youngsters. Another key objective is the improvement of Nyon's sports facilities in terms of infrastructure.
The foundation allocates subsidies either once a year or in several amounts, with potential candidates asked to submit a dossier justifying their request, which is then examined by a committee comprising representatives of UEFA, the Commune of Nyon and local sports organisations. This committee makes a proposal to the foundation's administrative board, which then reaches a decision on which bodies or persons will benefit from a subsidy derived from the dividends accrued from the foundation's capital.
The latest beneficiaries were announced last week. They are Nyon Rugby Club, who play in the Swiss national league, the Twirling Sport baton-twirling organisation, the Alpine-skiing Jeunesse du club Alpin and the HC Nyon ice hockey club.
The rugby club will use its subsidy in particular to buy a rugby-scrum training machine, while funds will be earmarked for the Twirling Sport club to spend a training weekend in the nearby Joux Valley.
Skiing and ice hockey
The local Alpine skiers will be able to finance a trip to the Bolivian Andes, while the Nyon ice hockey club, which celebrates its 30th birthday next year, is involved in a project for a temporary ice rink in a Nyon open-air square, which would give the local schools and population the chance to try out skating and ice hockey.
UEFA moved to the Nyon area in 1995, after spending more than three decades in the Swiss federal capital Berne, and passed some four years in temporary premises before opening its new home, the House of European Football, in autumn 1999.
The European body recently opened its headquarters for a day to give people from the Nyon region the chance to take a closer look at UEFA's home and its activities. The latest UEFA Open House day was designed especially to help people gain a better idea of UEFA's less visible activities behind the scenes.
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