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Minister Bandelli: ''The government promotes a healthy lifestyle, including with EU funding''

Maribor, 4 October 2018 – Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy (GODC), Ministry of Education, Science and Sport and Ski Association of Slovenia today held an event dubbed ''Towards Success in Sport with EU Funding – Winter Heroes in Maribor''. Athletes of the Ski Association of Slovenia and government representatives met with over 300 children from Maribor primary schools to raise their awareness of the benefits of physical activity and healthy lifestyle, including through programmes implemented under the 2014-2020 EU Cohesion Policy. Children participated in a quiz, and got to learn about different sports and sports equipment needed. The event was supported by Marko Bandelli, Minister for Development, Strategic Projects and Cohesion.

‘’Slovenian athletes are our heroes. Not only because you achieve top results in so many disciplines, but also because you possess a broad range of values, such as fair play, health, courage and perseverance, which make you incredible individuals. You are role models for so many aspiring young people who wish to follow in your footsteps, and to all of us who play recreational sports only now and then,’’ said Minister Bandelli.  ‘’The best way to stay healthy is to be and become physically active,’’ added Minister. 

Minister stressed that the government supported and fostered healthy lifestyle through a series of projects and programmes funded by EU, including programmes Healthy Lifestyle and Young for the Young. Programme Healthy Lifestyle, which is co-financed by the European Social Fund, seeks to fight and reduce social exclusion and inequalities in health, and has an extremely positive impact in terms of improving physical capacity and body build, increasing participation in the programme, instilling a positive attitude towards sports and acknowledging health benefits of sport participation, including for mental health, personal growth and development, and for the elements that give an overall picture of an individual's health status. The programme Young for the Young focuses on providing jobs for young graduates in sports education and kinesiology which include provision of organised physical activity for students and secondary school pupils. Regular physical activity importantly improves health condition and motor skills of programme participants, maximizes their work efficiency and productivity at a later stage, and in turn boosts economic and social development.   

According to Bandelli the two programmes join a series of over 8,000 EU-funded projects, including sports infrastructure projects, which had been delivered in Slovenia so far. ‘’There are a number of  high profile sports infrastructure projects, say Planica Nordic Centre, Podmežakla and Bonifika sports halls, Stožice Stadium and Ljubljana Gymnastics Centre; yet, we should not overlook a number of minor but nonetheless important projects that foster a healthy and active lifestyle on a daily basis, say revamped Maribor Stadium Ljudski vrt, the Pohorje cable car and Pisker II six-seater chairlift at the ski slope Ušankovo I of the Mariborsko Pohorje Ski Resort, Rogla cross-country skiing centre and Kidričevo sports hall,’’ underlined Minister Bandelli. ‘’These projects reflect so many success stories which make our everyday better, but this would not have happened had there been no committed teams behind them. Similarly, behind every successful, top athlete there is a passionate and committed team,’’ concluded Bandelli.

Minister Bandelli wished Slovenian athletes every success in the upcoming season and hoped the young would spend an unforgettable day with their idols.