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National Olympic Committee

Croatian Olympic Committee

Highlight

The Croatian Olympic Committee went above and beyond for their Olympic Day. A blend of unique events organised by the Croatian Olympic Academy (COA) prolonged the celebration of Olympism from April to June. Adopting the theme “we are all part of a global celebration”, they sought to inspire participants to connect with festivities across the rest of the world.

Where?

Zagreb (on a number of dates), Porec, Brac

How?

In April 2014, the COA organised an official press conference to outline the upcoming Olympic celebrations and exciting events that were going to happen across Croatia. Over two months, five separate events in different parts of the country were organised to represent and capture the Olympic spirit.

Key Events:

29 - 30 April 2014:

  • An educational day on the environment was organised by the idyllic shores of Brac to teach 300 young children about the importance of protecting Croatia’s beautiful shoreline.
  • This event included the participation of scuba-divers who dived 18 metres beneath the surface of the sea and held up a banner advocating for environmental protection.
  • Children also had the chance to swim in the sea and snorkel as well as learn diving techniques from the scuba divers.

25 May 2014:

  • Children at a Pre-School in the centre of Zagreb performed a variety of sports (including gymnastics, tennis and football) for their friends and families.
  • Educational materials emphasizing the importance of living an active lifestyle were given to the audience, and medals and trophies were given to the children who participated.

30 May 2014:

  • 800 elementary school children from all parts of the country came to the capital city to participate in a re-enactment of the Olympic Games.
  • Opening and Closing ceremonies with flags from the various regions of Croatia were organised, and two parachutists descended into the Sport and Recreation Centre.
  • Several Croatian Olympians and distinguished guests took part in the day, including the President of the Croatian Olympic Academy, Vice President of the Olympians Club, the Minister for Science, Education and Sport, and the Secretary General of the Croatian Olympic Committee.
  • This event featured 21 different sports, and was broadcast by Croatian national television networks; a clear indicator as to the significance of the day.
  • All participants received t-shirts and medals for their involvement in this event.

9 - 20 June 2014:

  • An exhibition of “Olympism through memorabilia” was set up at the Croatian Sports Museum in Zagreb.
  • The event was free to attend and workshops, led by volunteers from the Olympic Academy, were organised for high school students to give them the opportunity to see and hold Olympic memorabilia.
  • Following this theme and to commemorate the day, the Croatian Post even made an Olympic Day stamp.
With whom?

Croatia’s Ministry of Science, Education and Sports; Croatian Olympic Academy; Croatian Olympians Club and non-governmental organisations.

Next Steps?

The COA hopes to develop the theme of connecting with the world and reiterate to Olympic Day’s participants that they are part of a global celebration. Because of the success of the 2014 edition and the diversity of its events, the COA, in 2015, will pursue with the same programme and aim to expand the scuba diving educational day. Planning for Olympic Day 2015 by the COA is already underway and a sports photography competition has already been launched, with a winner to be announced at the Youth National Championships in Porec (26 April - 5 May 2015).

Conclusion

The variety of activities, from sport clinics to educating the youth on the environment, makes Croatia’s Olympic Day celebrations unique. For them, it is not just a one day event, rather a multitude of events over two months which commemorates the Olympic Games, the Olympic values and the positive impact of sport on health and society.

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