European Youth Olympic Festival good to go

Maribor, 23 May - The government has stepped in, providing an additional EUR 2.8 million, after the organisation of the 2023 European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF), which Slovenia will host in Maribor in late July, faced some financial difficulties. Now the competition is all but ready to start.

In the presence of PM Robert Golob (left), Minister of the Economy, Tourism and Sport Matjaž Han and Maribor Mayor Saša Arsenovič sign a contract to help make the European Youth Olympic Festival happen in Maribor.
Photo: Bor Slana/STA

In the presence of Prime Minister Robert Golob, Minister of the Economy, Tourism and Sport Matjaž Han and Maribor Mayor Saša Arsenovič signed a contract on Tuesday under which the government will co-finance the upgrade of the track-and-field stadium Poljane.

The decision to co-finance a new warm-up running track at the stadium and to help renovate another sports venue in the city was made even before the government decided last week to earmark the extra EUR 2.8 million for the event, of which EUR 2.5 million will be spent on co-financing the organisation and implementation and some EUR 325,000 on co-financing sports equipment.

Confident that Maribor will once again prove to be an excellent host, Golob finds the government's financial support logical as he sees the EYOF as an important event not only for Maribor but also for the whole of Slovenia.

Han is also confident that the event will help promote Slovenia and boost its tourism and economy.

Relieved and grateful that the government helped ensure the competition will take place in Slovenia, Arsenovič said that perhaps the municipality had been a bit misled into thinking that the costs would be lower and there would be no need to seek budget funding for what he termed the biggest sports event ever held in Slovenia.

Together with the EUR 2.8 million, the government has now earmarked nearly EUR 9 million for the project.

The EYOF will take place between 23 and 29 July, and around 3,600 participants from 48 countries are expected to participate. It is considered the largest sports event for young athletes aged between 14 and 18, who will compete in eleven disciplines in Maribor.

The venues are all set, with the exception of the new warm-up track, which will be completed by the start of the event, the mayor said, confident that the competition will have long-lasting effects for the city and the country. The event's budget is estimated at EUR 11 million.

© STA, 2023