What's up: Living the dream

What's up: Living the dream

This Month's version of What's Up we catch up with Student Nikola Vincetic from Croatia who is part of the Organising Committee for the next EUSA Games in 2016.

The European Universities Games 2016 will be held in Zagreb and Rijeka, Croatia, as you probably know. This means that athletes have a year and a half to get prepared, as well as the organisers. A year and a half may sound like plenty of time, but once you account pre- and post Games activities, travel, social excursions, media activities, test events, rest and recovery time, a year and a half starts to look more like month and a half, or less.

Being a part of Organising Committee, I can say that anticipation here in Croatia is pretty high so I will use this opportunity to tell you a story about our common vision of European student sports movement through the prism of EUG Zagreb and Rijeka 2016.

European Universities Games 2016 Team

We want to create a once in the life time experience for students and other participating members. We want to provide the Games that will deliver exceptional sporting, academic and social experience for each person that visits Zagreb and Rijeka during the Games. The key in creating a once-in-the-life time experience is to understand the core values of student sport. We integrated them in our vision of the Games. The slogan of Games 2016 is "Heart believes, mind achieves". It follows the basic concept of the synergy of the heart and mind, two organs of great power but also a strong contrast. Only through their joint work is it possible to achieve full potential of human capacity. The concept of dualism and synergy of the heart and mind is the most important thing for us.

As you are aware, EUG is not just about sport. It is more than this, and participants rightful expect more. We want to leave something for the generations to come. We are cooperating with different organisations from various fields. We want to understand students’ needs and wishes. Also, we discussed with individuals who organised some of the most memorable sporting events in the world. All because we want to create long lasting legacy of the Games both in European and in the Croatian students' sports movement.

We will introduce 9 key innovations in the EUG 2016 program; we want to show that we have minds and heart, knowledge and passion to make the EUG 2016 one of the turning points in the development of the EUSA and overall European university sports. Here is a glimpse of some of these innovations:

Academic program consisting of the Rector's conference and International conference on university sports. With this we want to increase the reputation of EUSA within the academic community, and through an exchange of ideas ensure quality solutions for the development of University sports. This will also be another opportunity to strengthen relations among different universities and NUSA’s.

We want to standardise the Games evaluation methodology in order to provide the EUSA with a complete overview of the organisation of the Games, from preparation and implementation.

We developed a sophisticated program of volunteers, as we planned to have over 1000 volunteers during the Games. We already started negotiating implementation of awarding ECTS credits for student hours spent volunteering. This way we will pay back some of the warmth, smiles and energy that volunteers so selflessly invest in all of the EUSA events.

With the organisation having inspiration at the heart of then event and with the tag line “Powered by the Games”, which promote the same values as the EUG 2016, we will improve the reputation of the Games within community and increase social involvement in the projects.

Furthermore, an important part of the Game is to give all participants the possibility to stay longer in Zagreb and Rijeka in order to watch other sports and to feel the cities and the country. This is offered at a promotional package price, which include accommodation, meals and transport. This will improve the quality of experience and popularity of the Games among the students. The beauty and richness of culture of our Croatia are reflected in the fact that at a relatively small area. You can find a distinct difference of mentality, climate, lifestyle and rich cultural and historical heritage. Together with two iconic and equal, but at the same time most propulsive Croatian universities, Zagreb and Rijeka, will provide the ideal combination of necessary prerequisites and atmosphere that will prevail during the organization of the Games. They are a combination of the best elements of continental rationality and Mediterranean passion.

Last, but not least, innovation. This is to incorporate sports for the disabled and this will ensure activities for an important, and to date, somewhat neglected part of the student population, fully integrating them into the EUSA family.

Come in Croatia in 2016! We offer you our hearts and minds.

Nikola Vincetic

Nikola Vincetic is a Social science graduate from the University of Rijeka.

Are you a student with an opinion? We are looking for new contributors for our student column every month. Feel free to contact stc@eusa.eu to offer a piece or propose a topic.