Mr Aleksander Čeferin was on Wednesady proclaimed ambassador of Youth Sports Games on a ceremony held in Zagreb
Wed, 11. December 2019.
The Emerald Ballroom of Esplanade hotel in Zagreb hosted leading figures from the political, sporting and economic world of the region on Wednesday, December 11th at the inaugural ceremony to proclaim Mr Čeferin as the Youth Sports Games Ambassador. The plaque was presented to him by Predrag Mijatović, the longest-serving Youth Sports Games Ambassador.
In his thankful speech, Mr Čeferin pointed out: "There are very few people who put general good ahead of their interests in these populist times, as Zdravko and his team do. Sport is health and it shares positive values, and I will try to make you proud of me as an ambassador. ''
He was also congratulated by the world-famous ambassadors of the Games: with a video from Luka Modrić from Madrid, Nemanja Matić from Manchester and Edin Džeko from Rome, and Mr Johannes Hahn, Commissioner of the European Commission for Budget and Administration from Bruxelles.
''It is a great pleasure to congratulate you on joining the Youth Sports Games family. As the proud ambassador of the biggest amateur event in Europe, I send greetings from Madrid and I am sure that with your engagement this project will grow and progress even more'' said Luka Modrić in his congratulations.
The Ceremony was broadcasted live in 7 countries on N1 and SK3 television starting 1.30pm. The ceremony was also supported by Mr. Tomislav Madžar, Special Advisor on Health and Sport Envoy of the President of the Republic of Croatia and Mr. Darko Horvat, Minister of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts, Envoy of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia. The Youth Sports Games project co-financed by the European Union's Erasmus + Program was also presented as part of the program. Awards for long-term partnership, support and development of the Games were given to: Tomislav Mamić Owner of Tommy Ltd., Dragan Stajkovic Managing Director of Bambi A.D. and Lana Popovic, President of The Coca-Cola Company Group for Central and Eastern Europe.
Zdravko Marić, president of Youth Sport Games: '' What really matters about the Games is that we have been able to achieve a great deal in this difficult territory in terms of connecting children. From this place I can really promise that we will do even more in the future, with our new ambassador, Mr Čeferin. In the Games children are not separated by who, what skin or gender they are. Equality is one of most important thing that we promote in the Games and what we will emphasize in the future''.
The ceremony was attended by many prominent sports professionals, led by Miroslav Blažević, famous croatian football coach, Davor Šuker, President of the Croatian Football Federation and the France '98 Bronze Footballers.
Football is the most massive sport in the system of Youth Sports Games, and the most massive platform is the Coca-Cola Cup with more than 35,000 children and young people participating every year. Strengthening women's soccer is one of the strategic goals of UEFA and with its support Youth Sports Games will launch women's soccer tournaments in 2020. Youth Sports Games are the largest amateur event in Europe allowing children to compete in 10 sports.
In 2020 Youth Sports Games, together with the Ministry of the Interior of Croatia will conduct a major educational action to combat violence on sports fields. Minister Davor Božinović supports Youth Sports Games in a joint effort to promote fair play and promote nonviolence on sports fields.
This year, the Games broke all records by the number of competitors and participants. In 2019, they organized sports competitions in more than 220 cities and towns in the region and gathered more than 202,000 participants. The strength of the Games is precisely its participants, elementary and high school students from across the region, more than one million and seven hundred thousand athletes who, in their 23 years, felt what sports, socializing and fun were all about.