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Sergey Bubka officially opened the European Masters Games 2023 event in Tampere in front of a thousand people


The European Masters Games 2023 were inaugurated with an opening ceremony at the Ratina Stadium in Tampere. Ratina Stadium was filled with thousands of jubilant athletes and local sports fans. 

The opening ceremony started with a spectacular procession of EMG2023 athletes and participants marching from the Central Square to Ratina. At the opening ceremony Sergey Bubka, multiple pole vault world champion, and IMGA president, officially declared the competitions open with a solemn speech.

– Sport has the power to unite and the Masters Games represents this idea in many ways with the diversity in age, backgrounds, competition levels, and the many different reasons for each and every one of you to participate. Athletes from all corners of the world gathered here to participate in this sports festival. A true demonstration, from all of you, of your commitment and drive to stay active and enjoy friendly competition at any age, says Bubka. 

IMGA President Sergey Bubka (C) Tampereen Kameraseura, Pinja Irri

In addition to Sergey, the Mayor of Tampere, Kalervo Kummola, gave a greeting from the City of Tampere. A true sportsman welcomed all the thousands of athletes and their companions to Tampere.

– We firmly believe, that developing these areas requires co-operations from different city sectors to different stakeholders and organizations. And that it exactly the strategy, how we run our city. At this event, you’ll notice a quite impressive know-how of our local sports actors. Tampere is a city of bold modern development. At the same time, we are small enough to maintain relaxed atmosphere, says Kummola. 

The a cappella singing group Rajaton also took to the stage. A group of professional dancers from Lunddance and acrobats from Akron Taika also put on a spectacular show. DJ Juissi also made sure that no one missed the best summer hits in the Ratina audience.

Around 4000 athletes and their supporters registered for the European Masters Games 2023. The total number of tourists arriving for the Games is approaching 10 000. The international multi-sport adult event will bring together international adult athletes from as many as 78 countries, with an average age of 53 years. The event will feature 29 different sports across Tampere, with strong cooperation between clubs in Tampere.

(C) Joonas Cavén

Events kicked off around Tampere 

On Tuesday 27.6. there were competitions in many disciplines around Tampere. Field archery, which attracted a large number of participants, drew a hundred to the green surroundings of Sasi. 

The Tampere Tennis Centre was also the place to be when the padelists got into the swing of things. Italian padel player Monica Avondetto and her husband are experienced masters competitors who are aiming for the upcoming World Masters Games in Taipei. 

– I was in Torino, Italy in 2019 to play tennis, but now we came together to play here for the first time with my friend Sandra Mensa and we are aiming for the Masters in Taipei. The conditions in Tampere are first class and we are happy to be here,” said Monica Avandetto after her first padel match. 

The frisbees were also flying at the Tampere Disc Golf Centre, Judo at TESC, and the basketball matches at the Pyynikki Ball Hall were getting into the swing of things.

Sandra Mensa and Monica Avondetto from Italia dressed in blue.

© European Masters Games 2023. Designed by Mainostoimisto AATE