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Prime Minister in Maribor: State to provide nearly EUR 9 million for EYOF

Prime Minister Dr. Robert Golob attended the signing of a contract in Maribor on the co-financing of the investment “Construction of an Athletics Warm-up Track with the Reconstruction of the Existing Grandstand”, amounting to EUR 3 million.

The contract was signed by the Minister of the Economy, Tourism, and Sports, Matjaž Han, and the Mayor of the City Municipality of Maribor, Saša Arsenovič. In the presence of the Prime Minister, the Minister also handed over to the city the Decision of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia on additional funds to co-finance the implementation and organization of the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in the amount of EUR 2.825 million.

This will bring the total state contribution for the EYOF event, which will take place in Maribor from 22 to 30 July 2023, to almost EUR 9 million; just over EUR 6 million for the co-financing of sports infrastructure and nearly EUR 3 million more for  the implementation and organization of the event.

The Prime Minister said on this occasion: “Today we celebrate an ode to sport - youth sport and sport in Maribor. Maribor is one of the most sporting cities in Slovenia, in spirit and in deed. That is why the Government's decision to support the organization of the EYOF event was not a difficult one. We have confirmed this by handing over the Decision. I would like to thank everyone involved in the project, as it is a significant matter for Maribor and Slovenia. The whole country can be proud that EYOF will take place in Maribor, as Maribor has proven to be an excellent organizer of top-level sports events in the past. I wish our athletes great success and the opportunity to build friendly relationships with their peers from all over Europe. Congratulations on the work done so far, and let us move forward with a positive attitude!”

Based on the Government's Decision of January 2021 to provide funding for co-financing sports infrastructure in accordance with the budgetary framework, the Government has so far allocated just over EUR 6 million to the EYOF 2023 Maribor. These funds have been earmarked for co-financing investments in public sports facilities for the EYOF event, such as the renovation of the Tabor Sports Hall.

In March 2023, the City of Maribor also submitted a request to secure the missing funds for the organisation and implementation of the event. Support for the organisation of the EYOF 2023 Maribor was also requested by the Olympic Committee of Slovenia - Sport Societies Association.

Due to the added value of the international sports event and at the request of the City Municipality of Maribor, the Government has decided to allocate the missing funds of EUR 2.5 million from the state budget to co-finance the organization and implementation of the EYOF event. Additionally, just over EUR 325,000 have been allocated by the Government to co-finance equipment.

According to the organiser, the funds will be used for the organisation of sports competitions, the accommodation for young athletes and members of the national teams, emergency medical assistance and anti-doping testing.

Furthermore, as part of the Annual Sports Programme 2023, the Ministry of the Economy, Tourism and Sport has allocated EUR 3 million to co-finance the construction of a warm-up track and the ancillary facility of the Poljane Athletics Stadium, with the City of Maribor as the investor. The contract for the co-financing of this investment was signed today by Minister Matjaž Han and Maribor Mayor Saša Arsenovič.

The organiser emphasises that the EYOF is an important international reference for Slovenia in organising and co-organising competitions at the highest level. With over 30 years of tradition, the EYOF is the largest multi-sport event for young athletes aged 14 to 18. It is held under the auspices of the European Olympic Committees and represents the first encounter with the Olympic movement for athletes, providing invaluable experiences for future competitions on the path to the Olympics. Up to 3,600 participants from 48 countries, 800 officials and technical delegates and 800 volunteers are expected to take part in the festival.

The project brings numerous advantages for Maribor, the wider region, and the entire country, such as renewed sports infrastructure for further sports development in the city and region. This will provide young athletes with suitable conditions for the development of their sports careers.