BRNO – According to the number of registered athletes, this year´s Emil Open was supposed to be record-breaking. Despite the fact that 917 athletes from 18 countries registered, the organisers had to cut the number of athletes less than a month before the Games start. Due to a budget shortfall (in comparison to previous years), it was impossible to ensure sufficient amount of finances for such a big number of participants and games of this extent.
Shortly before the start of the European Youth Games for the Disabled, the organisers have to deal with a tricky situation. "Unfortunately, we could not manage to provide sufficient amount of finances to organise this year’s event in its full extent, and with a really high number of participants. We were trying to manage the situation until the very last moment, but it would be irresponsible to postpone the decision further. Therefore we had to do some adjustments in the programme structure,“ says the Organisation Committee President Pavel Zbožínek.
The organisers had to refuse two thirds of the athletes from abroad, and some adjustments have been made also in the accompanying programme comparing to what the visitors of Brno were used to from the past. “We are glad that our long-term sponsors, the City of Brno and the South Moravian region stand behind us even in this complicated situation. It is mostly thanks to them that the popular European Youth Games for the Disabled can be realised,” adds Zbožínek.
Average limit for the foreign participants in Emil Open 2018 will be ten athletes from each country. The participation of the Czech sportsmen will be set with regards to representation of all the regions and number of athletes in each sport. Average limit for one region is also ten athletes. This rule does not apply for the athletes from Brno, as the organisers do not pay for their accommodation.
The number of official-programme sports is reduced to five: athletics, swimming, golf, boccia, and bocce. 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. The Games will take place in Brno from June 6 to June 10, 2018.