EUG 2020 project has been presented to the secretary-generals of the national sports federations during the 8th Sports Fair in Belgrade. EUG 2020 director Predrag Juskovic pointed out the main activities in the recent period in order of good preparations for the Games:
- We owe our gratitude to the Sports Federation of Serbia and the Ministry of Youth and Sport for giving us the opportunity to present all that we have done so far, but also to emphasize what is ahead of us in the coming period. The European University Games in Belgrade will be the fifth under the auspices of the European University Sports Association as the umbrella organization of national sports federations. EUSA gave confidence to confidence in the Republic of Serbia and the city of Belgrade, and in that direction, the Government established a company in February to deal with the implementation of the Games together with other organizations in our country. Our partners are the City of Belgrade, the University of Belgrade, the University Sports Federation and the national branch federations that will deal with the technical organization of the competition. I am grateful to them for showing great co-operation in the organization and I hope that it will be so in the future. We expect over 5,000 athletes from 400 universities from 40 countries, 2,300 volunteers, VIP-guests, officials, all of which give the figure of over 8,000 participants. This shows the size of the project. We will have competitions in 21 sports, including two para sports, table tennis and judo. We will use 30 sports facilities, and the participants will be accommodated in the largest academic dormitory in the Balkans, the Student City. Games are a great multidisciplinary event, of great importance for the city and the republic. They have a cultural and educational character, they are more than just a competition. There is no major sporting event in the coming year than EUG 2020. Through sport we will promote all the potentials of the Republic of Serbia and the city of Belgrade. Our mission is to organize the best Games in EUSA history. This is the goal of all of us in the company and those we work with. We want to set new standards. We aim to leave a kind of legacy for all students through the development of student sports infrastructure, the construction of beach handball and beach volleyball courts, the reconstruction of sports facilities, and we will produce a new generation of sports workers. It is an opportunity to present ourselves in the best light. We are a sports nation and we always organize competitions well. We also get organization of the World Championship 2022 in Athletics, which is a confirmation that Europe and the world believe in us. I’ll end with our slogan, “our sport, our games.”
The head of the sports sector, Ana Todoric, presented the history of university sports in Serbia:
– University Sports Association established in 1953. Our athletes first participated in the 1957 Universiade. They won 140 medals and in addition to the Universiade they participated in over 1000 competitions, European and World Championships, in which they won over 400 medals. We organized the Universiade in 2009. The first European University Championship was held in Uzice in 2001 in volleyball and karate in 2003. We hosted a total of 11 European Championships. The first European University Games were organized in Cordoba in 2012, followed by Rotterdam, Zagreb and Rijeka, while the last were in Coimbra in 2018. The most important thing is our Government is behind the Games. An Organizing committee has been set up, headed by Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and four deputy prime ministers as vice-presidents. There are also nine ministers, including the City of Belgrade, the Rector of the University, the director of the national TV (RTS) and the directors of large state-owned companies that will be significant partners for us to present this momentous event. When you look at all these names, it is clear to everyone that we have the support and the great responsibility as a company to justify the role they have given us. An Executive Committee headed by Darko Glavas was appointed by the Organizing Committee. The Vice President is our Operations Director Dragan Atanasov.
Rector of the University of Belgrade, PhD Ivanka Popovic, emphasized the importance of the Games in terms of revitalizing university sports:
– This is a sporting event that is of national importance and I have absolutely no doubt that it will be extraordinary. As a country, we have that capacity and the extensive experience which will ensure the great success of the Games. I would like to talk about the broader context, that is, what it will mean for the Universities in Serbia. University sports and sports have generally found it difficult to handle the transition. Universities bear the responsibility that university sports federations have had great challenges. To rectify this, we have used this period of preparation for the Games to re-energize sports federations. It is a new kind of collaboration and quality that will lead to the right use of all resources and the optimal use of limited funds for sports. The Rector’s Conference will be an opportunity to compare experiences with other universities and hear ideas about organizing university sports in Europe.
EUSA Sports Manager Besim Aliti praised the organization of the Games:
– EUSA is very pleased with the progress going on in Belgrade. It’s amazing how much has been done in just a few months since the formation of a new Games company. As a representative of the EUSA Supervisory Committee, I would like to mention milestones that await us by the start of the Games. First, the EUSA Executive Committee in Ljubljana next week to present the project and the company. The next EC meeting ahead of us is in April, and already in May we will have HoD meeting with Heads of Delegations, were the representatives of European Federations will have the opportunity to see what their athletes can expect during the Games. I expect and I am convinced that this will be the biggest and best Games in EUSA history.
The fifth European Universities Games will be held between July 12 and 25 in Belgrade.The fifth European Universities Games will be held between July 12 and 25 in Belgrade.