The International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the global governing body of the Paralympic Movement, is inviting cities from across Europe to bid for three major sporting events in 2013.
The first event is the 2013 IPC Shooting European Championships which is set to attract nearly 300 athletes and officials from a number of different countries.
Open to athletes from inside as well as outside of Europe, the Championships will be one of the largest international IPC Shooting events following the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
In recent years the sport, which made its Paralympic Games debut in 1976 in Toronto, has enjoyed rapid growth and in 2010 the sport increased the number of licensed participants by 21% and is now practiced in nearly 60 countries.
Suhl, Germany staged the last European Championships in 2007 and in 2010 Zagreb, Croatia staged the IPC Shooting World Championships attracting nearly 250 athletes from 43 countries.
The IPC is also looking out for a city to stage the 2013 IPC Powerlifting European Championships, which like shooting, will be the biggest international event in the sport following the Paralympic Games.
A total of 275 athletes and officials are expected to attend the 7 day event which is likely to see competitors come close to lifting three times their bodyweight.
More than 80 countries practice Powerlifting worldwide and the number of licensed athletes grew by 16% in 2010. Last year Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia held the 2010 IPC Powerlifting World Championships involving 292 athletes from 49 countries. In 2007 Kavala, Greece hosted the last European Championships.
The third event the IPC is inviting cities to bid for is the 2013 IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport European Championships which is likely to involve 225 athletes and officials.
Although not part of the Paralympic Sport programme, Wheelchair Dance Sport has benefitted significantly from the growth in popular TV dance shows and regularly attracts sell-out crowds.
Both days of competition at last year’s World Championships in Hannover, Germany were sold-out six months in advance of the event taking place.
Practiced in 22 countries around the world, Europe is a hot bed of talent for the sport with athletes from the continent winning all 12 medals available in Hannover in 2010.
The sport involves athletes with a physical impairment that affects the lower limbs. Wheelchair dancers may participate in "combi"-style dancing with an able-bodied (standing) partner or duo-dance for two wheelchair users together.
Bid applications for the 2013 IPC Wheelchair Dance Sport European Championships and 2013 IPC Powerlifting European Championships need to be made by 15 December 2011. More information, can be found at www.ipc-wheelchairdancesport.org/ and www.ipc-powerlifting.org respectively.
The deadline for applications for the 2013 IPC Shooting European Championships is 30 November 2011 and additional information is located at www.ipc-shooting.org