The packed Riva in Split was on the 21st of August scene of the closing Ceremony of the Youth Sports Games.
Wed, 21. August 2019.
More than a thousand participants in the International finals of the Games from BiH, Croatia and Serbia together with numerous athletes, partners and citizens of Split enjoyed the ceremonial closing ceremony. The program started with the concert of Frajle, Mia Dimšić and Marko Tolja with live broadcast on SK TV. The sport spirit among the crowds was awakened by Enis Bešlagić as "Judge" in tense duels in the battle of the rope between the teams from BIH, Croatia and Serbia. All partcipants were greeted by the Ambassadors of the Games:Luka Modrić, Nemanja Matić, Edin Džeko and Miralem Pjanić while Predrag Mijatović, a true sports legend, hung out with the children on the Riva.
''As one of the first Ambassadors of the Youth Sports Games, who has been with the Games for more than a decade, I am very proud of all that Zdravko Marić and his team are doing for all young participants. This year we broke a record: 202,000 children participated in these Youth Sports Games, which is really amazing. I congratulate Zdravko and his team for all that they have done, and for all the competing kids, I want primarily health, and then to retain the sport spirit ' ' Mijatović said. A special greeting was prepared by the newest ambassador of the Games, Mr. Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and enlargement negotiations.
As part of the ceremony, members of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Croatia presented a new great educational action "Budi navijač, a ne razbijač" ( Be a fan, not a hooligan) which will be conducted in conjunction with the Youth Sports Games in 2020 and aims to prevent violence on sports grounds. The Games were officially closed by Mr Davor Božinović, Vice-president of the Government and Minister of Interior of the Republic of Croatia: ''The Ministry of the Interior has always been a promoter of fair play, non-discrimination, non-violence and tolerance at sporting events of all levels. Providing young people an alternative and influencing their future behaviours on the ground and in the stands is our priority, and the Youth Sports Games are the ideal opportunity. This year we started a pilot project "Budi navijač, ne razbijač" because we know that everyone, if desired, can become an active creator and promoter of non-violence, tolerance and fair play'' emphasized Mr Božinović. Education of children and youth on the importance of playing sports, and preventing violence and discrimination is also conducted by The Games through an EU project "Youth Sports Fair Chance". The project aims to identify and develop best sport-related practices that contribute to disseminating messages of respect, combating discrimination and racism, and preventing all forms of violence in sport. The project includes pupils from 70 elementary schools from 6 partner countries, co-financed by the Erasmus + Sport programme of the European Union and the total value of the project is 365,525 euros. In the past 23 years Youth Sports Games gathered 1.7 million children and young people and are the biggest amateur sporting event in Europe, and the founder of the Games Zdravko Marić did not hide pride on record numbers this year: ' ' This year in the region our competitions were attended by 202,000 children and young people. We are proud of all the participants in the region who are a true example of fair play and socializing through sports''. The International finals of the Games were held in their 10 sports disciplines (Coca-Cola Cup in football, Mini-football, Kinder plus Sport Basketball Tournament, HEP Handball tournament, volleyball, Croatian post Cup in tennis, Table tennis, HPB Beach Volleyball tournament, Chess, Dodgeball and Athletics) 16.8.-22.8. on sports grounds all over Split. More than a thousand competitors from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia turned Split into the centre of sport in the region. It is a unique opportunity for all children of elementary and high school age to spend unforgettable days at the seaside with secured accommodation, transportation to Split and transfer to competitions, all with the supervision of organisers.