The Magic of the Games has also won Serbia over We are proud of the children from Serbia, but also of the children from the region who have come to love the Games.
Wed, 14. November 2018.
Namely, when 22 years ago then 18-year-old Zdravko Marić enthusiastically launched the Youth Sports Games in Split in order to make children happy and promote socialization, sport, fair play and a healthy lifestyle, he certainly could not have dreamt that the Games would eventually become the biggest event in amateur sport in Europe, recognized by the International Olympic Committee, which will gather over 1.5 million participants from Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. However, when you do something out of love, especially out of love towards children, a bit of magic is involved in each and every move, so this is actually the only possible outcome.
In 2018, we have continued to write the pages of this beautiful story, which started just over two decades ago, with the help of over 170,000 children and young people from 220 cities in regions where the Games have shined.
The Games in Serbia, celebrating their 5th birthday this year, have broken all records as regards the number of competitors and participants: they lasted for 97 days, while our caravan of joy and friendship passed an excess of 18,000 kilometres over the course of that time. We have once again managed to truly create travelling magic, while the values we have promoted have been met with great interest and support from children and teachers, sports workers and the media.
Our caravan of joy and friendship visited Požarevac, Petrovac na Mlavi, Zaječar, Sokobanja, Zlatibor, Valjevo, Sremska Mitrovica, Novi Sad, Kikinda, Zrenjanin, Novi Pazar, Prijepolje, Čačak, Irig, Pančevo, Kuršumlija, Vranje, Kraljevo and Kragujevac. This year, the Magic of the Games was also experienced by children in Belgrade.
We are proud of every child we have met on the way from Subotica to Vranje, and they were in the dozens of thousands. All of them arrived eager to socialize with us, to play and enjoy exciting competitions in ten sports disciplines: futsal, beach volleyball, street basketball, handball, volleyball, dodge-ball, table tennis, tennis, athletics and chess.
The winners in every sport at the YSG National Championship in Serbia represented our country at the Main International Finals, traditionally held in the splendid city of Split. During last summer, more than 1,100 competitors from three countries enjoyed the mini-holiday, socializing, entertainment and making new acquaintances in Split.
At the regional finals, our delegation counted 310 members, young YSG champions, trainers and guests. We are proud to stress that we won the largest number of medals and we would like to wholeheartedly congratulate YSG members from Croatia who came in first in the overall ranking. However, medals and rankings are not a priority in the YSG family, because the best award is always given to the thousands of children's smiles and love that connects us all and leads us wherever we go.
We are offering you our hand of friendship and we invite you to travel with us throughout the region over the course of 2019, during which we shall break records and take down boundaries, turn impossible into feasible and unreal into reality. All children of this world deserve that we do at least that much for them.