Youth sports games for the region officially opened in Novi Sad
Wed, 15. May 2019.
The pages of the most beautiful and playful sports fairytale have continued to be written in Novi Sad, where, in the presence of a large number of invitees from Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Youth Sports Games for the entire region were officially opened. With the vow of friendship and the torch of friendship, from Novi Sad - the European Youth Capital for 2019 - a message of peace, friendship, tolerance and fellowship was sent and the beginning of another great SIM season was officially marked (the 23rd in Croatia, the ninth in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the sixth in Serbia).
The opening ceremony in the large hall of the SPENS center in Novi Sad, in front of over 5,000 children and youth, was attended by, among others, Milos Vucevic (Mayor of Novi Sad), Zdravko Maric (Founder and President of the Organizing Committee of Youth Sports Games), Milos Kovacevic ( Advisor to the Minister at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development), Predrag Perunicic (State Secretary for Sport of the Ministry of Youth and Sports), Vladimir Batez (Provincial Secretary for Sport and Youth), Tihomir Gudic (Executive Director of the regional organization SIM), Ivana Jovanovic (President of Dunav Insurance of Youth Sports Games of Serbia), Nenad Borovcanin (President of the Boxing Federation of Serbia), Zeljko Tanaskovic (President of the Federation of School Sports of Serbia), Goran Marinkovic (General Secretary of the Sports Federation of Serbia), Dragan Tomasevic (President of the Sports Union of Belgrade), Aleksandar Vlaskalic (Secretary of FC Vojvodina), Novak Kostresevic (President of Football Association of the city of Novi Sad), Svetoslav Atanasov (CEO of Coca-Cola HBC Serbia and Montenegro), Luka Santendrea (CEO of Coca Cola), Maja Markovic (Director of Corporate Marketing and Client Care Center of Dunav Insurance), Ivan Prtoric (Director of Podravka Serbia), Bojan Kekic (Chairman of the Executive Board of Postanska stedionica Bank), Goran Stevanovic (Director of the Organizing Committee of SIM Novi Sad 2019) and many others.
The ceremony began with the intonation of the anthem of the Republic of Serbia performed by the choir of Novi Sad High School "Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj", and after the performance of Chaos Animator and the ISON choir, the ambassadors of the Games addressed the audience by video messages: Johannes Han, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Ambassadors of the Games Predrag Mijatovic, Nemanja Matic and Luka Modric, as well as European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Tibor Navracic.
A vow of friendship was made on behalf of the athletes by Lana Batez, a talented volleyball player, the daughter of legendary Yugoslav volleyball player Vladimir Batez.
- I'm happy about today. I have to thank all the relevant people and institutions who have helped to keep the Games running for the sixth consecutive year in Serbia. I am proud of the fact that the Games bring together over 80,000 children this year, and I would especially express my thankfulness to the President of the Republic of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, who recognized the value of this event, the Government and all local governments where the Games are held. And of course, special thanks go to Novi Sad, Mayor Milos and his people who have been available to us these days - said Zdravko Maric, the idea-generator of the Games.
- I would like to thank the Mayor of Novi Sad, all the people in this beautiful city and especially the children who came in large numbers to the spectacular opening ceremony of Youth Sports Games for the region. It was beautiful and this will be talked about in the coming days. With this support, we continue to cruise around Serbia stopping in as many as 25 cities. This is definitely the most beautiful sports story in the region and we are proud of it and our children and we are sure that as in previous years the friendship will win in the competitions - said Ivana Jovanovic, President of Dunav Insurance of
Youth Sports Games of Serbia, who gave a special recognition to Goran Stevanovic, Director of the Organizing Committee of SIM Novi Sad 2019 for contribution to the development of the Games.
The attendees were also addressed by Zeljko Tanaskovic, President of the Federation of School Sports of Serbia, an organization that is a technical partner of the Games, and Svetoslav Atanasov, General Manager of Coca Cola HBC Serbia and Montenegro, which supports games in all three countries.
The Mayor of Novi Sad, Milos Vucevic, did not hide his pride over the fact that Novi Sad is the city where the new season of one of the biggest manifestations of amateur sports in Europe was being born.
- How can you not be satisfied when you see several thousand students and young people who the Youth Sports Games were organized for. It is natural for me that the first venue for such a big competition would be Novi Sad, as the European capital of young people - it is a part of the presentation of the first man of Novi Sad, Milos Vucevic.
The most glorious moment of the opening of the Youth Sports Games was when the young athletes with great potential for future achievements, a volleyball player Minja Osmajic and an athlete Marko Beljanski had brought in the torch of friendship and when, with the sounds of fanfare and confetti, not only Novi Sad but the whole region were shining with the flame of friendship of the Youth Sports Games.
The torch will cruise in the cities across the region over the coming months, enriching the childhoods of those who are dearest to us all. And if our children remember the days spent with SIM all their lives by the games, joy, togetherness and the friendships made on the sports fields, then we can say that our mission has succeeded. And our hearts will be full! And we are sure it will be just like that.
After the grand opening ceremony of the Games, a SIM sports day began in Novi Sad, and the final city competitions were held in eight out of ten sports. It was fiery, exciting and uncertain, and, as always, there were three faithful friends on the throne: joy, friendship and fair play. The heart rate of the fans gathered around the most talented young athletes, who competed at the National Finals, was especially accelerated. The best of them have already secured their seats on the bus which, in August, together with other most successful athletes from Serbia, will take them straight to Split for the regional super finals and mini vacation. Congratulations!
The CEO of Coca-Cola HBC Serbia and Montenegro, Svetoslav Atanasov, emphasized that his presence at the opening of the Games had awakened his feelings of great joy and pride.
- I am especially happy when I see all these young people in front of me, because they are a clear proof that everything we do makes sense. I'm here today because the Coca-Cola Company and the Youth Sports Games have a lot in common. Primarily, we share the same values: those of peace, friendship, fair play, hard work and an active lifestyle. These are values that we share with young people, striving to teach them to be good people who will contribute to our society in the right way. Thank you all for being here and for supporting this fantastic initiative - Atanasov said.
Dunav Insurance SIM Serbia expresses special thankfulness to a pool of sponsors - to the general sponsor Dunav Insurance, Coca Cola Company, which is wholeheartedly with the Games, Postanska stedionica Bank, Telecom Serbia - MTS and Podravka Serbia.