Date: 23. September 2022
Time to read: 2 min
On 23 September, when the Slovenian national anthem was played for the first time at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Slovenia celebrates the Day of Slovenian Sport. The main event honouring the national holiday will take place at Congress Square in Ljubljana. This is also the start of the European Week of Sport launched by the European Commission and lasting from 23 to 30 September.
Slovenians are second in the world in terms of Olympic medals won per capita, and winners of numerous medals at world championships. Top athletic achievements, outstanding natural features, highly developed infrastructure and physical education in primary and secondary schools are just some of the factors that contribute to our lifelong connection to sport and motivate us to devote a large part of our free time to sport and recreational activities. We are a sporting nation, as evidenced by school playgrounds full of young people, packed mountain huts and lodges, and sports enthusiasts of all generations in sports halls and fitness centres. Six out of ten Slovenians do more than two and a half hours of recreational sport activities a week, and four out of ten spend more than five hours a week doing sport.
The fact that sport is in our nature has been recognised by the state; on 18 June 2020, following the initiative of the Olympic Committee of Slovenia – Association of Sports Federations (OKS–AF), it declared 23 September the Day of Slovenian Sport.
Let’s be active
The Day of Slovenian Sport is a day for sport. While children in kindergartens and schools will celebrate it with a sports day, we should take time for an active break from work and exercise in nature in our free time.
The Olympic Committee of Slovenia and sports federations will organise various events all over Slovenia.
At Congress Square in Ljubljana, where the main event is to take place on 23 September, visitors, young and old alike, will be able to take part in a variety of sporting challenges.
At 12:00, the event will conclude with a symbolic President's Run along Slovenska cesta.
On Saturday, 24 September, you can take part in the BeActive free group run, starting at 18:00 at Congress Square with a warm-up with music. Then, the participants will run about five kilometres around the Slovenian capital. On Saturday and Sunday, the Olympic Committee is organising an Olympic Festival with Foksi the Fox for young sports enthusiasts at Congress Square.
Prior to the holiday, an exhibition dedicated to the Day of Sport already toured several Slovenian towns. The exhibition provides a brief overview of some of the historical circumstances, events and personalities that have contributed significantly to making Slovenia one of the few nations in the world that have recognised the role of sport in preserving their identity.
The Museum of Contemporary History of Slovenia also opened the exhibition ‘In Winners' Shoes - Slovenians and Their Sports Achievements’ before the lively events of the Day of Slovenian Sport.
»7 September is World Fair Play Day; soon we will celebrate the third Day of Slovenian Sport, followed by the European Week of Sport. The exhibition is a good way of rounding it all up,« said Miro Cerar, Slovenia's most successful athlete, who won thirty medals in major competitions, at the opening of the exhibition. The exhibition, which provides an overview of the greatest sporting successes and gives younger enthusiasts the opportunity to get to know individual disciplines and heroes of sports arenas, will be open until 1 April 2023.
23 September will be active not only in Slovenia but in the whole of Europe. This date marks the start of the European Week of Sport, an initiative of the European Commission promoting more active, healthier lifestyles.
Let this be a day on which every Slovenian man and woman is physically active, expressing his or her attitude towards sport, which has many positive effects: it improves health, educates, promotes positive values and unites Slovenia.