We were asked by awake citizens and avid cyclists/walkers for information about the ‘East Flanders’ most beautiful’ event, which should normally take place next weekend. However, as a result of this question, we learned that already at the beginning of this year the Municipal Executive decided to remove this sporting-recreational event from the Zottegem activity calendar.
As a kind of relaunch of the family happening Ringkarond, which was organized 25 years in a row by Sportakern Zottegem, in 2017 the first edition of ‘East Flanders Beautiful’, a similar cycling and walking event also aimed at both experienced and less experienced cyclists and walkers either individually or as part of a family or other group. With the Flemish Ardennes as the setting for this sporting-recreational event, Zottegem as Gate of the Flemish Ardennes would of course be the perfect base for this and the city sports department, Sportakern Zottegem, WTC De Hert, WTC Erwetegem, WTC Leeuwergem, Wandelsportvereniging Egmont and the cycling magazine Grinta are joining forces as a media partner.
The fixed date was chosen for the first Sunday of September and the (Saturday) day before. On the basis of this, ‘East Flanders’ most beautiful’ should therefore continue again in the coming weekend of 3 and 4 September, but, after it was not possible to organize in 2020 and 2021 due to corona measures, the fourth edition of this cycling and walking event will now also take place. not. However, on the eve of the third edition in 2019, during its presentation and in a press release about it (see via this link) stated through the then mayor Jenne De Potter that the concept of ‘East Flanders’ most beautiful’ in Zottegem was very popular (according to him 2,500 cyclists and walkers could be welcomed the year before), while sports ships Brecht Cassiman also organized this event with a spacious offer tailored to everyone’s needs for both the intensive athlete and the recreational connoisseur.
Nevertheless, it now appears that at the beginning of this year, in the session of the Municipal Executive on January 31, 2022, it was decided not to continue this organization and not to conclude a new agreement with the publisher Grinta Publicaties BV from Oudenaarde. Neither this decision nor the reason(s) for the termination was communicated by the city council, but it is said that this decision was taken after a survey of the cooperating sports associations and an evaluation by the city sports service. The (last) organizational agreement with Grinta that was concluded for 2019, 2020 and 2021 had a price tag of 2,238.50 euros per year.