European University Sports Association and the Organizational Committee of the 5th European Universities Games Belgrade 2020 have decided to postpone the Games until the summer next year. On that occasion, we have talked with Mr. Predrag Jušković, the EUG2020 director who is in charge of organizing the Games.
-This is the only right and rational decision at this moment, says Predrag Jušković, EUG2020 director. I can also say that sport and health have won by making this decision for Games to be held when there are right conditions for that. Sport and health go hand in hand and if we don’t have a completley healthy, positive atmosphere and of course the conditions for a healthy life, then no Games, competitions, no matter what, should be organized. Health of the people, students, athletes, volunteers, all participants, guests and the spectators is the most important.
– Since the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic, continued Jušković, as responsible people concerned for health of employees, participants and volunteers, we were monitoring the situation closely every day, as well as statements by the World Health Organization, emergency headquarters of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, our epidemiologists. At the beginning it seemed that, if this state of emergency passes by the end of the first half of April, the Games could be held or moved to August. We were in constant communication with the president of Organizational Committee, members of the executive board and the EUSA representatives in order to make this final decision. Thus, as it was clear that pandemic will still be on in April, everything was pointing to the fact that this right decision needed to be made. Besides that, all participants, the ones that have registered and the ones that were yet to do so, were not participating in the student’s life, were not going to the classes, were not training and it would not be realistic for them to be competing in those conditions. Everything in the world, and in our country, has stopped. How it would be possible to organize the Games in those conditions, it is a big question.
– I need to express my gratitude first of all to the president and all team members of Government of the Republic of Serbia for understanding and their support to the Games, to the very important decision for the Games to be held next year and that we can complete all the construction work, preparation and organizational activities, hence we can complete our goal that this would be the best and the biggest organized Games so far. Although today we have other priorities, health and quality of life of our students are our equally important qualities in this tough time. Also, I want to thank the leading people from European University Sports Association for their understanding, because moving the Games to the next year, when they have other competitions scheduled, was not an easy decision to make. At the end, I would like to thank all of our employees in the company and the representatives of the branch associations that have worked very hard on organizing the Games in the previous period, and a special thanks to our volunteers. By now, almost two thousand volunteers have signed up to be a part of organizing the Games. I know how much they were looking forward to being at the Games in July 2020. Today, a lot of them took part in helping elders and other endangered people in the conditions where the help is needed the most. All those volunteers will be a part of our organizing team of the Games next year, Predrag Jušković concluded.