Tuesday, 15 December 2020

Zagreb Primary School Named the Most Active School in Europe!

December 15, 2020 – Thanks to the project "A walk around the Earth" designed by professor Juraj Horžić, Zagreb Primary school "Petar Preradović" won the European Commission's #BeActive award for being the most active school in Europe.

As the Ministry of Tourism and Sports reports, today, Minister Nikolina Brnjac received representatives of the Zagreb Primary School "Petar Preradović", professor of physical education Juraj Horžić, and the school principal Denis Žvorac. Their school is the first Croatian winner of the #BeActive award given by the European Commission.

The title of the most active educational institution in Europe went to this Zagreb school thanks to the project "A walk around the Earth", designed by professor Horžić. In the spring, during limited activities due to the coronavirus pandemic, this project encouraged the physical activity of students, their parents, friends, relatives, and other acquaintances.

"I saw the news on the TV that a marathoner ran a marathon on his balcony. I immediately took the globe. I saw how far it is to make a circle around the Earth, for example, and I started to recalculate how many students would need to be included for us as a school to make a circle around the Earth," professor Juraj Horžić told RTL.

The project consisted of two challenges – a walk around the Earth along the meridians and parallels. In a total of 31 days in 1996, participants from 8 Zagreb primary schools covered more than 148,000 kilometers, made more than 222 million steps, and consumed more than 7.5 million calories.

"At a time when we need to adapt to new circumstances, professor Horžić accepted the challenge and, in a unique way, encouraged the physical activity of 2,000 people. He showed by example, how little is needed for motivation and how everyone in their own way, in their time and space, can engage in the activity they choose and do so much for their health. Congratulations to professor Horžić and the school on winning the award. I look forward to your future projects. Encouraging children to engage in physical activity is an important task, and the "Walk around the Earth "project has shown that we combine the most important thing with a creative approach – the acquisition of knowledge and physical activity," said Minister Brnjac.

Minister of Tourism and Sports Nikolina Brnjac with the Petar Preradović Primary School from Zagreb representatives, professor Juraj Horžić and the school principal Denis Žvorac / Photo: Ministry of Tourism and Sports

The educational component added value to this project, as the students learned about all the countries, cities, and other areas they passed on their way through the walk. Professor Horžić gathered kilometers of all participants and prepared interesting facts from the history, geography, celebrities, nature, sports, and culture of different countries on four continents.

As a reward for all the effort, the recognition of the European Commission arrived.

"The prize is 10,000 euros, which will certainly improve our school budget. We will invest in the school what we need for physical education, some props, and everything we need to make our physical and health culture richer in the future," said Denis Žvorc, the school principal.

And they seem to be just at the beginning of their journey. They are also planning a trip to the Moon and will virtually walk even to Jupiter.

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