23 September declared Slovenian Sports Day
Ljubljana, 18 June - The National Assembly passed on Thursday legislation proclaiming 23 September Slovenian Sports Day. The new public holiday will not be a work-free day.
The initiative has been enjoying cross-partisan support, however the opposition Left abstained from voting today because they had failed to push through a proposal declaring Sports Day a bank holiday.
The date of the holiday has been a matter of debate as well. The final consensus was to celebrate the day on 23 September, marking the day in 2000 when Slovenian athletes first won Olympic gold medals since the country's independence.
It also coincides with the first day of the annual European Week of Sport.
The OKS welcomed the passage of the bill today, with president Bogdan Gabrovec describing Slovenian Sports Day as a particularly special holiday.
"23 September is not just another on the list of Slovenian state holidays. It is a holiday carrying a special meaning, dedicated to Slovenian sport and its promotion," said Gabrovec, adding that the celebrations will be focussed on urging Slovenians to stretch their legs and exercise.
The OKS would like to use the day to further raise awareness about the importance of physical activity, including among those who are rarely or never seen exercising.
President Borut Pahor also expressed satisfaction over today's step. Last year, the president held a reception presenting the initiative and at the time he said that "sport is, like culture, one of the things that bring us together".