The city of Rijeka, the European City of Sports in 2022, was honored to host the opening of the largest amateur sports event in Europe.
The Grand Opening Ceremony of the 26th Plazma Youth Sports Games was held today in Korzo with an appropriate program led by Ana Radišić and Frano Ridjan with live television broadcast on N1 and SK televisions.
The founder and president of the Games, Zdravko Marić, was the first to greet those gathered at Korzo and thanked all the sponsors who make it possible for all programs and competitions of the Games to be completely free for all participants. "Dear children, the Games have become such a big project thanks to you. In this way, I must once again thank the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the Mayor of Rijeka for recognizing how important the Games are as a project. Korzo looks beautiful today, especially since Rijeka is the European City of Sports this year,'' said Mr. Marić.
More than 2,000 children and young people gathered at Korzo and participated in sports competitions and animations.
This year, Rijeka holds the title of European City of Sports, which is a confirmation of Rijeka's previous sports orientation, good sports infrastructure that provides conditions for playing sports, especially when it comes to children and young people. Sport and engaging in sports activities is an extremely important segment in the development of every child, and the Plazma Youth Sports Games have been promoting this for many years, and that's why I'm glad that we are hosting this important sports event,'' said Marko Filipović, mayor of Rijeka.
The Plazma Flame of the Youth Sports Games was brought by Lucija Grozdanić, a member of the women's handball team from ŽRK Zamet, accompanied by young athletes from Rijeka. With the lighting of the flame of the Plazma Youth Sports Games, the games were officially opened for the 26th time. The ceremony was attended by Zdravko Marić, president of Plazma Youth Games, Marko Filipović, mayor of Rijeka, Barbara Dorić, board member of Ina d.d., sponsor of the opening, Ivan Jovanović, Corporate Affairs Manager Bambi a.d., Željko Jovanović, Commissioner of the President of the Republic of Croatia for Sports and envoy of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Marijan Kustić, President of HNS and representative of the President of the Croatian Parliament and Nikolina Brnjac, Minister of Tourism and Sports and representative of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, who declared the Games open.
"The Ministry of Tourism and Sports supports these kinds of sports events because it contributes to our main strategic goal, which is to involve as many children as possible in sports, and I am extremely glad that through the Youth Sports Games, so far, more than two and half a million children participated." Minister Brnjac said.
Many top athletes, ambassadors of the Youth Sports Games Plasma, led by Luka Modrić, Edin Džeko and Domagoj Duvnjak, gave special greetings to the crowd.
While regretting that they cannot attend the opening in person, they promised the young athletes an upcoming gathering at the Plazma Youth Sports Games.
Indira Forza brought the atmosphere on Korzo to a fever pitch with her energetic hits, and she ended the mini-concert with a performance with tambourines.
Young Aura Radočaj, winner of the Mali Split children's festival, performed her winning song "Prijatelji mi smo svi" and cheered up the youngest guests on Korzo.
The opening was attended by numerous guests from the political, economic and sports life of Croatia. Ognian Zlatev, head of the Representation of the European Commission in Croatia, representatives of the Croatian Olympic Committee, the embassies of Hungary and Serbia, the Croatian Basketball Association and representatives of Coca-Cola Company Adria, and Coca Cola HBC, Telemach Hrvatska, Privredna banka Zagreb, Tommy, HŽ passenger transport after completion ceremonies cheered the children on the sports fields.
Barbara Dorić, member of the board of INA d.d., emphasized the importance of playing sports.
-''As a socially responsible company, it is extremely important for us to be part of such events. I congratulate the organizers for organizing this event with such enthusiasm for the 26th year in a row.
As part of the Telemach Day of Sports, competitions in fencing and athletics were held, and the best achieved placement in the state finals of the Plazma Youth Sports Games in July in Split.
As part of the large educational campaign "Zero Waste - Be part of the game - Let's protect our planet", an educational training ground and a lecture on the importance of environmental protection, recycling and self-sustainability were held. Since this year, in cooperation with Coca-Cola, 22 educations have been held as part of the campaign in all counties of Croatia.
Plazma Youth Sports Games will gather 100,000 children and young people in Croatia this year.
Plazma Youth Sports Games provide an opportunity for children of elementary and high school age to participate for free in top organized competitions in 10 sports from January to September.
Although the Games are amateur sports, all activities are conducted according to the standards of professional competitions, which include professional sports fields, trained kinesiologists and physical education professors, professional judges, delegates and top event management.
Plazma Youth Sports Games, while promoting sports and the sports lifestyle, are aware of the influence and responsibility they have towards their participants, which is to help them develop into responsible individuals of our society who will promote diversity and inclusion.
Registrations are open for all sports disciplines of the Plasma Youth Sports Games: Tommy tournament in indoor soccer, Coca-Cola Cup in soccer, HEP handball tournament, Kinder tournament in street basketball, beach volleyball, volleyball, Fide tournament in chess, table tennis, Croatia post Cup in tennis. All individuals and all freely formed teams, lovers of a healthy lifestyle and socializing, and not only children who are actively involved in sports, have the right to participate.