UEFA has been based in Nyon since 1995 – and European football's governing body makes a proactive contribution to promoting sport and the activities of sportsmen and women in the western Swiss town.
Since 2000 UEFA has participated in the Fondation pour le Développement du Sport (Foundation for the Development of Sport), through which annual awards are given to sportsmen/women and sports clubs and associations from Nyon. The latest ceremony saw ten awards made to local sports organisations who had submitted projects.
The recipients were: Société Nautique (nautical activities), Cercle des Nageurs de Nyon (swimming), Gaëtan Procureur (Nyon Ski Club), Luca and Vincent Genito (Judo Team Nyon), Scouts de Nyon, Triathlon de Nyon, Gym Nyon (gymnastics and dance), Nyon Basket Féminin (basketball), Nyon Rugby Club, and Twirling Sport Nyon.
Meanwhile, the 2010 award winners – Manon Zryd (synchronised swimming), Club Subaquiatique (diving), Club Alpin Suisse CAS (winter sports), Ski Club de Nyon, and Pétanque Nyonnais (bowls) – gave presentations on their activities.
The aim of the foundation is to encourage young people to practise a sporting discipline, through the subsidisation of Nyon-based sports clubs, to develop the training and coaching of youngsters, and to help improve local sports infrastructures. It is managed by a board comprising the mayor of Nyon, the municipal official responsible for sport and a representative of UEFA.
"Thank you to UEFA, who initiated this foundation and showed a sense of social responsibility in launching this project," said the mayor of Nyon, Daniel Rossellat.
"This moment is exceptional, because it is the tenth time we have the pleasure of being able to give the awards," said Jean-Paul Turrian, representing UEFA at the ceremony. Clubs in need of equipment or transport, candidates to stage European or Swiss championships, individuals receiving invaluable support for training in a bid to further their careers – all types of projects have been rewarded by the foundation.
The programme can assist individuals, notably elite sportsmen/women living in Nyon, or sports installations in the town that require funding for their members to practise a specific sport. It also finances training or improvement programmes organised by Nyon's sports clubs for young people.
Stéphanie Schmutz, municipal official responsible for sport in Nyon, said the town has a solid sporting background. "Around 50 sports clubs are registered in our town, which corresponds to some 10,000 sportsmen and women who participate in the clubs. To this number, we must add numerous people who practise a sport freely."
Several Nyon clubs, she added, had reached Switzerland's higher sporting levels, and various sportsmen/women were active in competitions in Switzerland and beyond.
Nyon is a town of more than 18,400 inhabitants, situated on the banks of Lake Geneva. UEFA moved there from Berne in the spring of 1995, settling in the House of European Football in October 1999 after working from temporary premises for the first four years. The football body is now giving countless local sports people the chance to fulfil their dreams.
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