The government also submitted a decision to the city of Maribor regarding the co-financing of Ofem, which finally closes the financial structure of the competition. The implementation of the Olympic festival at the end of July is covered with 2.8% of additional state money.
According to Prime Minister Robert Golob, the Olympic Festival of European Youth (OFEM), which will take place in Maribor at the end of July, is an important event not only for Maribor, but for the whole of Slovenia, so the state’s support is understandable. “I think that not only Maribor, but the whole of Slovenia can be proud of the fact that Ofem has trusted Maribor. Maribor has already proved itself as an excellent organizer of events at the highest level in the past, and I have no doubt that this will be the case this time as well.” said the prime minister Robert Dove.
Last week, the government confirmed that it will allocate 2.8 million euros from the national budget for the implementation of OFEM. Of this, 2.5 million euros will be earmarked for the co-financing of the organization and implementation of the event, and a good 325,000 euros for the co-financing of the equipment.
“When we received this request from Maribor for additional funds to carry out this festival and when we saw how far the preparations were, we did not hesitate for a moment and provided these funds,” said the Pigeon.
“The biggest sports event in Slovenia”
The mayor Saša Arsenović he breathed a big sigh of relief at that. “Perhaps we were a little misled that the costs would be lower and that we would not have to burden the state budget, so I sincerely thank the Ministry and the Prime Minister for their understanding that we have now found a solution together and that Slovenia, and on its behalf, Maribor organized this biggest sports event ever held in independent Slovenia,” he said in an address to those gathered at today’s event in Maribor.
Renovated sports infrastructure in the city
Together with the funds for co-financing investments in public sports facilities, the state will allocate almost nine million euros for Ofem. In fact, it had previously approved more than six million euros for investments in sports infrastructure, the most for the renovation of the Tabor hall and the construction of a warm-up track in Poljane.
The state is contributing three million euros for the covered warm-up athletics track, which was started to be built in Maribor at the beginning of this year. The rest of the total investment of 5.2 million euros is covered by the budget of the city municipality.
Minister Matjaž Han also officially signed an agreement with the mayor on the co-financing of this investment. “In the government, we are absolutely aware of the importance of large sporting events for the promotion of Slovenia, the economy and tourism. Ofem is not just a sporting event. Young people will come here, learn about the beauty of Slovenia, socialize and spread this positive energy. This is an investment in the future,” he is sure.
At the event that will take place between July 23 and 29, around 3,600 participants from 48 countries are expected. Ofem is considered the largest sports event for young athletes between the ages of 14 and 18, who will compete in eleven disciplines in Maribor. For the first time in the history of the festival, competitions in skateboarding, mountain biking and 3×3 basketball will be held. Other branches are sports gymnastics, athletics, road cycling, handball, judo, swimming, tennis and volleyball.
The mayor believes that Ofem will have long-term effects for the city and the country. “The goal is not only sport, but also integration. There will be a lot of good energy left, as well as new sports infrastructure,” he said.
9 out of 11 million from the state budget
The venues are already set; the only exception is the athletics track, but even for it the mayor guarantees that it will be fixed in time. The budget of the event is estimated at 11 million euros and will be financed, among other things, from the budget of the city municipality, an allowance from the Olympic Committee of Slovenia (OKS), Erasmus + tenders, participant registration fees and sponsorships. The state’s share in the budget rose to over 9 million with the latest government contribution.