By Nick Butler

small telford picAugust 4 - The International Centre in Telford has been announced as the host of the 2014 European Archery Festival in January in a venture which will substantially boost the local economy, it is claimed.

Nearly 1,500 competitors from over 30 countries will descend on the Shropshire town from January 24 until 26 for a three-day event featuring many of the continent's finest marksmen.

Yet the festival will also do more than showcase merely the elite side of the sport and will include the largest archery trade show ever held in the UK, as well as plenty of opportunities for budding archers to learn the craft.

archery telfordTwo-time Paralympic champion Danielle Brown (far left) and three-time Olympian Naomi Folkard (far right) alongside organisers at the announcement that Telford will be hosting of the 2014 European Archery Festival

Councillor Bill McClements from Telford and Wrekin Council was unsurprisingly delighted with the chance to showcase his town.

"This is great news for Telford and the region," he said.

"Not only will we have the opportunity to show elite athletes from across the world just what Telford has to offer but it will see an economic boost of around £1.1 million ($1.7 million/€1.3 million) to the local economy, as visitors stay and enjoy our region, which endorses the hard work and investment that has been and is continuing to be made."

Tickets will go on sale later in the year for what will undoubtedly be one of the biggest sporting events ever to come to Telford and the event will climax in an arena style broadcast final which will hope to evoke memories of the 2012 Olympic archery competition held at Lords Cricket Ground.

Two athletes hoping to compete will be Athens, Beijing and London Olympian Naomi Folkard and double Paralympic champion and three-time world champion and local girl Danielle Brown, who were each present at the announcement.

"I was delighted when Telford won the bid to host the event next year," said Brown.

"To see this festival come to the town where I've made my home makes me enormously proud, and I'm really looking forward to competitors and visitors to the event seeing for themselves just what we have to offer."

European Festival posterTelford is set for a major economic boost from hosting the European Archery Festival

Gary Hargraves, event director from Sport80 who is organising the event was similarly pleased and keen to maximise the opportunity for Telford:

"We're delighted to be bringing the European Archery Festival to Britain, and even more so to Telford," he said.

"We've received great support from The International Centre Telford, and from Meet Telford and Shropshire, the convention bureau for the region, and we're confident that we're on track to deliver an exceptional event which is truly memorable."

"We're already working hard to make sure that there are plenty of opportunities for people from across the region to get involved."

lords archeryThe festival will hope to repeat the success of the Olympic Archery competition - held at Lords Cricket Ground

Hargraves continued: "From school trips, and opportunities for local groups and organisations to take part, to the chance to meet Olympians, Paralympians and world champions, and even volunteering opportunities, there really is something for everyone.

"Work is also starting now on our sponsorship and hospitality packages, with corporate trips and archery have-a-gos all in the planning stages.

"We're inviting interest from any businesses across the region who would like to benefit from the opportunity of such fantastic exposure."

Further information can be found on the event website and by clicking here.

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