[Junior AJA- Belgium Report] 1.3 million visitors, no serious incidents during the Ghent Festivities

Below is a round-up of recent news in Belgium.

5000 holebi’s attending World Outgames in Antwerp

According to De Standaard (30th of July 2013), the World Outgames will be held in Antwerp (a provincial capital in Belgium) from the 31st of July until the 11th of August. The World Outgames started with a three-day conference on human rights. Many sports competitions in around thirty disciplines will be held during this event. During the press conference, a sports oath against homophobia was signed.

The World Outgames is a world event organized by homosexual, lesbian, bisexual, transgender oriented people and sympathizers. Antwerp was chosen by the members of Gay and Lesbian International Sports Federation (GLISA) as the hosting city for this third edition of the World Outgames.

Photo: The official site of the World Outgames 2013 (http://www.woga2013.org/)

Funding for 10 hectare shared gardens in Flanders

In Flanders (the Northern half of Belgium), 25 shared gardens will receive government funding for the total amount of 300,000 euro. This amount will be used to plant approximately 400 gardens and in doing so the gardened area in Flanders will be enlarged with a total size of 10 hectares.

The shared gardens have become increasingly popular in recent years. In order to meet the demands, the Belgian government has chosen to provide funding to plant more gardens. The decision to invest in these gardens is made with the intention to support better ecological management and reduce the use of pesticides in vegetable growth.

The shared gardens are proven to contribute to better social cohesion, since they are a meeting place for both younger and older generations with different cultural backgrounds. The gardens can also motivate the participants to be more active outdoors, become more self-sustainable and able to self-produce food with a high nutritious value.

Shared gardens in Flanders will become government funded in order to achieve social cohesion and healthy living environments (Photo: www.volkstuin.be, the official website of the Flanders’ non-profit association for shared gardens)

1.3 million visitors, no serious incidents during the Ghent Festivities

During this year’s edition of the Ghent Festivities, 1.3 million merry-makers have visited Ghent during the ten days of festivities. According to the city administration, the festivities have taken place without any serious incidents. The police arrested 182 people and recorded 458 reports for criminal offenses. The Red Cross has provided medical assistance to a total of 1,456 people, which is a record high during a Ghent Festivities period. The fire brigade has made 49 interventions inside the city center and 271 outside. The special public transportation such as the ‘partytrams’ and ‘partybusses’ for commuting from and to the city center during the festivities, have transported a total amount of 300,000 visitors.

In contrast to the bad weather of last year, the summery temperatures this year in 2013 have helped to successfully attract a bigger amount of visitors to the Ghent Festivities.

‘Ghent attracted 1.3million visitors to its Ghent Festivities in the 2013’  (Photo: www.hln.be)

Belgium sends 15 athletes to the World Championships in Athletics in Moscow 2013

During the World Championships in Athletics held in Moscow from the 10-18 August, 15 Belgian athletes will be participating.

The track team for the 4x400m will be represented by Kevin Borlée, Jonathan Borlée, Dylan Borlée, Antoine Gillet, Arnaud Destatte and Will Oyowe. Kevin and Jonathan Borlée will also run the 400 meters individually.

The other Belgian athletes in Moscow will be Adrien Deghelt (110m hurdles), Pieter-Jan Hannes (1,500m), Bashir Abdi (10,000m), Thomas Van der Plaetsen (decathlon), Anne Zagré (100m hurdles), Sara Aerts (100m hurdles), Axelle Dauwens (400m hurdles), Nafissatou Thiam (heptathlon) and Almensh Belete (5.000m).

The Belgian track-team for the 4x400m’ (source: www.hln.be)

By: Lara Chung Deboeck

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