For the 7th time, the City of Brno will welcome young disabled athletes from all around Europe. Except for taking the event under its auspices, the city invites students of primary schools in Brno to take part in the event. There are several possibilities – to become a volunteer at selected positions, to compete in the Mixed category, or to come as spectators who will cheer for the athletes from the stands.
The European Youth Games for the Disabled will take place in Brno for the 7th time. What does it mean for the city that it becomes the site of such an important event?
It has built a great reputation of the city. It shows that Brno is not afraid of big international events. At the same time, it is a little bit different sport event comparing to what we are used to. The European Youth Games for the Disabled are not only about sport, but also about networking and international friendships, which is amazing.
What was the reason the City of Brno decided to support the disabled young athletes?
The city supports youth sport as such. I do not see a reason why the disabled athletes should have different conditions. Sport keeps the mind healthy, and the disabled need that. And the cooperation with the Emil Foundation has always been without any problems.
Emil Open is about strong emotions and overcoming personal limits. How to attract the spectators?
There are amazing personalities supporting the event, and the promotion is at high level. However, it is not the kind of a sport event that would attract crowds like Kometa (ice hockey club). My experience, though, is that who comes for Emil Open once, will come again. The performances of the disabled athletes and their emotions are often a huge inspiration for the spectators.
Do you plan to try any sport this year at Emil Open or will you decide spontaneously at the event?
I will probably decide at the event.
The disabled athletes deserve our admiration for their tenacity and strength. What else does the city of Brno do for them, except for the Emil Open?
We made a separate grant title for the disabled athletes. Since this year, they can draw the finances for their activities from it. This year we are also planning to build an outdoor sporting field for the disabled. We take part in the promotional activities of the Emil Foundation every year, and we cooperate with some other organisations supporting the disabled, too. A year ago, I initiated the founding of the Advisory Board for a Barrier-Free City, where we are collecting comments from the public, and then we eliminate the barriers in public places. We are doing adjustments this year that cost 10 million Czech crowns. But in total, there is much more than just what I have said.