Coinciding with the General Assembly of the Atlantic Regions, TONETA partnership met in Guimaraes on 17th and 18th May 2013. This event was labelled under the “European City of Sport”, an award received by Guimaraes (Vale do Ave) in 2013 and by Cardiff for 2014.
The first day the debates focused on the importance of sports in territorial cohesion and urban development. The meeting was opened by Mr. Gabriel Pontes, responsible for the project TONETA in Vale do Ave and Secretary-General of AMAVE. Paula Nogueira, from the Sports’ Commission of Guimaraes presented the application and the implementation of the European City of Sport, while João Zamith (Intercéltica) discussed about the role “The role of culture, sport and heritage in boosting tourism and regeneration in coastal areas”. These inputs were followed by the intervention of CAAC Coordinator, Ms. Tamara Guirao, who in behalf of the TONETA partnership presented the diverse initiatives of the cities involved concerning sport and urban development. The day was closed by François Arbellot, Leader of the Atlantic project NEA 2, who explained the procedures and challenges around nautism in the Atlantic Area; and Vitor Lemos, who presented the XIX Edition of the Atlantic Watersport Games and the initiatives around the Sea City in Viana do Castelo.
The second day took the shape of a workshop. In the first session the participants analysed the TONETA project so as to draft a swot analysis to be presented in the final report and draw lessons for the future. In the second session, the focus was dedicated to the European Call on Sports, discussing the adequacy of this call as a future evolution of TONETA. Participants also stated that more simplification was needed in EU projects’ presentation and justification, following the example of more friendly calls like Europe for Citizens. As a significant guideline of TONETA, networking possibilities were examined by discussion on the examples of the – “World surf cities network” (of which Viana do Castelo is a member) and the Volvo Ocean Race.
In the conclusions, Mr. Gabriel Pontes, Secretary-General of AMAVE invited partners to keep working together, and to see the final report not as an end of the project but as a start of new ways of cooperation.