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The 11th year of the European Youth Games for the Disabled is starting. More than 500 athletes will take part.

22.06.2022 13:26

For the eleventh time, Brno hosts the summer European Youth Games for the disabled Emil Open. From 22nd to 26th June, athletes aged ten to twenty six years old with disabilities will compete on Brno sports ground. Young athletes will compete in seven sports and in more than 30 disciplines.

There is an enormous interest in this year’s games. In total, 884 participants (including their companions) from 16 European countries will head to Brno. ’’Athletes will compete in athletics, swimming, table tennis, boccia, bocce and this year also in archery and cycling. There was a huge interest in athletics and swimming that we had to change the schedule of each sport in order to manage everything,’’ explains Pavel Zbožínek, president of the Emil Open organising committee, saying that the total number of registered athletes is 549.

Although the games officially start on 22nd June, a team of Ukrainian deaf swimmers has been training in Brno for a week. ’’Even though it is an unusual request, we accommodated the Ukrainian expedition. They can use the pools for free and we provide accommodation and food for them. It is the least we could do and we are happy to be able to prepare the Ukrainian team for the races here, given the current situation.’’ says Zbožínek.

 

The Czech Republic has the largest representation, expeditions will also enjoy a social programme

Although there is a huge interest in the Games abroad, the largest number of athletes will be from the Czech Republic, 311 in total. ’’The Czech Paralympic Committee puts great emphasis on the development of parasport, and our work with young people is directly linked to this goal. We are trying to build a structure of parasport athletes from the youngest, their education and to bring them to sport. Successful Paralympians help us do this and we want to present them as role models to the athletes and motivate them this way,’’ says Zbyněk Sýkora, chairman of the Czech Paralympic Committee.

In addition to sports competitions, Emil Open prepares a rich social programme for athletes, their companions and the public. The Games officially start on 22nd June at 4 pm with the opening ceremony, which will include flag bearers as well as presentation of Brno partner sports clubs and non-profit organisations. There will also be our traditional fundraiser show Eye to Eye with Jan Kraus.

At the invitation of the Mayor of Brno, the Museum of Applied Arts will prepare a Cup of Wine for Emil Open partners and guests. Apart from the hostess Markéta Vaňková, Roman Kraus, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health Care will speak on behalf of the chairman of the Senate of the Czech Republic, Miloš Vystrčil and the group Hands Dance will perform. ’’Disability is not an obstacle - this is the main motive of the Emil Open European Games, of which the city of Brno is a proud

partner and supporter. I am sincerely happy that young disabled athletes can do sports together, have fun and spend relaxing time together in Brno. I would like to wish all participants good luck and strength, my appreciation also goes to volunteers who help organise this event.’’ said Markéta Vaňková, the mayor of Brno.

The opening ceremony, the fundraiser show with Jan Kraus, the games and the closing ceremony will be possible to be watched live on the YouTube channel of Emil Foundation (https://youtu.be/98qCFADGTJk).

 

Sport on Thursday and Friday, fun on Saturday

Thursday will be about qualifications and Friday will be about final competitions. There are 220 sets of medals prepared for the athletes. Medal ceremonies will take place on the sports venues right after the end of each discipline. Emil Open isn’t only about winning, many young athletes like to come back to Brno to see friends with whom they can try new sports in which they could also compete in the future. ’’By adding archery and cycling, we not only want to give the opportunity to compete but also to try these sports and to expand the sports offer. We are pleased to already see interested athletes, we believe that these sports will excite them so much that in the coming years they will compete for the highest rank with a bow or on a bicycle,’’ wishes Zbožínek.

Emil Open will officially finish on Friday, with a ceremony. Even though most teams are scheduled to leave on Saturday or Sunday. The reason is our Saturday programme that they are all looking forward to as much as to the sports competitions. Participants can visit Aqualand Moravia, Lednice-Valtice area or the Brno Observatory and Planetarium, where the Starry Morning with Emil will take place with the participation of a number of partners.

’’We cheer for the enthusiasm and the imaginary flame of the determination of athletes, both during their sports performance and while enjoying Brno on Kraví Hora. SAKO Brno, plc, is a general partner of the games for the first time and we are proud of it! Enjoy the competitions, enjoy Brno. We are happy that no obstacles stopped you from living your life to the fullest!’’ Filip Leder, the chairman of the Board of SAKO Brno, plc, the general partner of the games, tells the participants of the 11th year. During the day, young athletes can be inspired by the para-athletics competitions for the Brno Mayor’s Cup in throwing disciplines, where high performance athletes from the Czech Republic and Slovakia as well as Alegria and the United Arab Emirates will be presented.

 

This year’s games, in addition to Brno, were supported by a total of 11 regions, which contributed to the accomodation and meals of their participants. Permanent partners of the games are the Faculty of Sports Studies of Masaryk University, which is the expert guarantor of the sports side of Emil Open and the municipal company SAKO Brno, which has become the general partner for this year. More than 180 volunteers will be involved in the games this year to make sure everything runs smoothly.

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