969 participants from 18 European countries. Record number of athletes and crew members are already registered for the 7th year of Emil Open, which is starting on June 6 to Sunday, June 10, 2018. European Youth Games for the Disabled will take place again in Brno, and are meant for athletes from 10 to 26 years.
We will see the participants of this year’s Games in five sports (42 disciplines) and another 11 sports not included into the official competition programme. “Our plans are big, as always. However, it is mostly about the financial possibilities, and an event like this is very demanding financially. We are trying to establish a project for youth with all kinds of disabilities to raise the interest in sports. We are addressing not only various organizations, but also all schools and rehabilitation centres," says the Organization committee president Pavel Zbožínek. ”The only qualification for Emil Open should be the desire to do sports, therefore we pay accommodation and catering to the athletes. We would like to avoid, that the financial possibilities of the participants are a problem to take part on this event. Therefore I would like to call in all the companies to take part in Emil Open, to support the Games financially, offer their corporate services, or with their employees as volunteers.“
Emil Open is already breaking records
On March 8 the organizers of the Games already closed the first round of the registration, so-called pre-registration. There are already 969 participants from 18 European countries registered. „The teams filled in the information about the number of members and which sports they will attend. We are waiting for particular names in the second round of registration, which will launch on March 20. We already know that there will be teams that participated also last year, for example Russian, Slovenian and Croatian boccia athletes, athletes from the Hungarian School and Recreation Sport Association of the Persons with Disabilities, from the Business School in Jánské Lázně, from primary and high school Pomněnka o.p.s., and many others,“ says Veronika Kuchtová, the Organization committee vice-president. It is almost sure that famous British golf player, Ashley Harris, will also participate.
Those who did'n not manage to register in the first round, can contact the Organization committee via email email@example.com. If their category will not be full, they have a chance to participate in this year’s Games.
The longest journey from Iceland
According to the pre-registration, the longest journey to Brno is awaiting the athletes from Iceland. They need to cross 2812 air kilometres. There will be two teams, together with 28 members. „We are very happy that we will have teams from such a distance, and that Emil Open is becoming more and more popular in Europe, and more and more countries are showing their interest in it,“ adds Veronika Kuchtová.
Not only participation at the Games, but also spectators‘ support is very important for the athletes. That is why the organizers have prepared a lot of support activities this year. Pavel Zbožínek invites people for the Games:
"I would like to ask the spectators to come for the Games, and support the athletes by filling the stands. They can look forward to great sporting performances and accompanying programme. We would like to fill the Liberty Square in Brno by many sports and performances this year again. And I hope that we will be successful in an event which will be written in the Pelhřimov Book of Records. We will tell more details later.”
Cross-border cooperation with Slovakia
The European Youth Games for the Disabled will be special this year. For the first time, Slovak Adeli Foundation will be the partner. Adeli is helping its clients to find finances for the treatment in unique ADELI Medical Center in Piešťany. „Adeli Foundation, within it's welfare aims, organizes or helps to organize a lot of cultural and sporting events. We are connecting subjects which have the same goal – a better life for the disabled. The partnership with Emil Open will help to make it more visible in Slovakia, and we expect that the Slovak disabled athletes will have a higher chance to participate in the international Games,“ says Zuzana Nováková, the administrator of the Adeli Foundation.
This year there should be also ten clients of the Adeli Foundation participating at the Games. They are interested mostly in boccia, swimming, and athletics. The seventh year of Emil Open is the beginning of the cooperation between the two organizations. "We would like to broaden the cooperation and come up with common international projects, which would connect various sporting organizations and clubs for the disabled athletes, so that they could meet and exchange their experiences on a regular basis,” adds Zuzana Nováková.
ADELI Medical Center is an international rehabilitation centre, which offers the treatment mostly for the people suffering from central nervous system damage after overcoming brain paralysis or intracranial damage. It is the only one in Slovakia that can help children from 6 months of age, patients with tracheostomy, as well as patients in coma vigil. The uniqueness in their approach lies in the emphasis on explaining the medical procedures to the patient and/ or his family members in a way they understand it.