The organisers received more than 230 binding registrations (out of more than 900 received during pre-registration) within the first week of registration for Emil Open 2018. The European Youth Games for the Disabled will take place in Brno, from June 6 to June 10. It will be one of the biggest sporting events in the region. The 7th year could surpass the previous years in the number of participants.
Last year had more than 700 participants from 16 countries. The organisers expect that these numbers will be surpassed this year. The number of binding registrations received during the first week indicates that it is more than likely. "We received more than 900 pre-registrations in the first round. In the second round, this time for binding registrations, we have received more than 200 in the first week. That is why we believe that we will surpass last year’s numbers. The second round is opened until April 30. Based on our experience from previous years, most of the registrations come before the deadline," says Pavel Zbožínek, organization commitee president.
Even though the games are more than two months away, the organization commitee is already finalizing many details. They are collaborating with the South Moravian region, with the City of Brno, Masaryk University, and with many others. Besides, they are also preparing a few accompanying events for both the athletes and spectators. "Spectators coming to cheer for the athletes is an important part for us, because the athletes deserve their cheering and support. Despite various handicaps they have the strength and will to do sports, and they deserve the stands to be full for that," continues Zbožínek.
Six sports in the official programme
The organisers increased the number of sports this year to six: athletics, swimming, table tennis, boccia, and bocce. "Bocce is played on grass surface, is similar to French pétanque. We believe that it will find its fans in Brno," adds the organization commitee president, Pavel Zbožínek. British golf player Ashley Harris will be one of the event’s biggest stars. He will return to Brno after one year. He visited the city for the first time thanks to Emil Open. „I tried golf last year and it was perfect. I saw other sports as well, I liked wheelchair basketball very much," says Harris.
Except for the mentioned six sports, there will be some that are not included in the official programme, such as basketball, rugby, wheelchair floorball or equestrian paravaulting. The participants will have the chance to take part in accompanying competitions.
Due to the number of sports and their types, the sites will have to be reconstructed or adjusted. All of them were selected so that they meet the demanding conditions for the disabled athletes. The organizers had to ensure also suffiecient barrier-free accommodation. Ensuring the transportation from accommodation to the sites will be a though part during the event. The organization commitee is collaborating with all universities in Brno as well as with the transport department.
The European Youth Games for the Disabled are for the athletes from 10 to 26, with all types of disabilities - physical handicaps, visual defects, hearing defects, mental handicaps, and with combined disabilities. It will be one of the biggest sporting events of the year for both the city of Brno and South Moravian region.