Wednesday, 1 February 2023

Josip Gasparac Memorial - World Athletics Indoor Tour Bronze in Osijek

February 1, 2023 - The Slavonija-Žito Athletic Club Osijek has been organizing the International Indoor Athletics Meeting "Josip Gasparac Memorial", contributing to the Osijek events and sports scene for the last six years. The event is coming back in February.

As SiB writes, this year, the competition itself and its category are taking on a completely different, greater significance for the sport, the competitors, but also for the city of Osijek itself.

World Athletics has awarded the traditional indoor athletics meeting "Memorial Josip Gašparac" the prestigious title of World Athletics Indoor Tour Bronze, which places this competition among the largest world and European athletics meetings.

With the new title, the athletics competition will gather about 20 of the world's best pole vaulters in Osijek, among them Piotr Lisek, winner of silver and bronze from the World Athletics Championship, gold from the European Championship, three-time winner of the Diamond League, whose personal pole vault record is over 6.00m.

The results that the athletes achieve at this competition in Osijek will count in the norm for the Olympic Games and the World and European Athletics Championships.

The live streaming of the competition has been officially confirmed by the European Athletics Federation with a commentator in English. All members of the World and European Athletics Federations will be able to follow the live stream. The leaders of the national athletics federations as well as the managers of top athletes have also confirmed their attendance.

Over the course of two days on February 21 and 22 2023, Osijek will become the centre of world and European athletics in the athletics tunnel of the Gradski Vrt Hall in Osijek. In addition to top athletes, a large number of visitors and spectators from all over Europe are expected.

On February 21 (Tuesday), men and women in the B and C categories will have the opportunity to perform, while on February 22, competitors in the elite category will take the stage. A new website of the Meeting was launched, where you can find out all the information about the event itself, as well as about the top jumpers who are coming to perform in Osijek.

It is important to note that entry is free for all spectators.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Sport section.

Sunday, 18 April 2021

€2m Allocated From State Budget For 16 Big Sports Events in Croatia in 2021

April 18, 2021 - The Tourism and Sports Ministry will co-finance the organization of 16 major sports events in Croatia this year in the amount of HRK 14.6 million.

Minister Nikolina Brnjac made a decision on allocating the funds after a public call, held for the fourth year in a row, during which time 44 major events have been co-financed.

"Besides the sporting significance, these events also have great promotional and tourist value for Croatia," Benjac said, adding that some of this year's 16 events were already recognized in the world. At the same time, some would take place for the first time.

The events to be co-financed this year are:

  • WACT Zagreb 2021 - Hanžeković Memorial and Ivan Ivančić Memorial track and field contest
  • WRC Croatia Rally 2021
  • CRO Race cycling contest
  • The European Shooting Championships EPSO 2021
  • The DOBRO World Cup Osijek 2021 for gymnastic athletes
  • The 56th European Senior Karate Championships
  • The FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament
  • AUDI FIS World Ski Cup "Snow Queen Trophy" 2021
  • ATP Tour - Croatia Open Umag
  • Croatia Tennis Pro Tournaments
  • World Rowing Cup I
  • UWW Zagreb Open Grand Prix wrestling tournament
  • Croatia Grand Chess Tour
  • WTA Croatia Bol Open
  • Pannonian Challenge in skateboarding
  • The 25th Youth Sports Games 2021

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Plenković: Sports Important for Croatia's Promotion

ZAGREB, July 21, 2019 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković attended a Croatia Open tennis match in Umag on Saturday and said sports were an important part of promoting and branding Croatia.

"Sport is one of our main pearls, which is why the Tourism Ministry and the Croatian National Tourist Board are closely cooperating with many sport federations. We must work on making every big sporting event or success part of our promotion and our branding and we are working on that," Plenković told reporters at the ATP tournament.

Asked to comment on Croatian Olympic Committee president Zlatko Mateša's warning that Eurostat ranked Croatia last in the EU in terms of funds set aside for sports, he said his government had adopted a national sport strategy and that never had more been earmarked for sports. "My ministers and I are doing all we can to raise sports to the dignified level they deserve."

Speaking of the Umag tournament, Plenković said it had positioned itself well and that it represented "a real attraction" for Umag in terms of sports and for tourism in general. "The Umag tournament is our only ATP tournament which continually attracts our best players," he said, calling it "a social, cultural, gastronomic, tourist and sporting event."

He recalled the revived WTA tournament in Bol, saying Croatia could position its players through these two tournaments and contribute to the promotion of its sports.

Plenković was accompanied, among others, by Tourism Minister Gari Cappelli, who said events such as ATP Croatia Open and Croatian athletes' successes contributed to the development of tourism and more arrivals.

He said the government had introduced the Croatian Sports programme to finance and cover all major events and as part of which 20-25 million kuna was set aside every year.

The minister said the effects of Croatia's second place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup were enormous, and that currently there was an increase in US, Chinese and German arrivals. "As of today, we still have 2% more German guests than last year, although we projected 5-6% fewer."

Cappelli said all of Europe was "hit" by different tourism trends because of bad weather and different approaches, and that Croatia was not the only country with arrivals and nights at last year's level. In July so far, there has been a 3-4% drop annually, but overall arrivals are up 4% and nights 1%, he added.

Cappelli said the government had a vision of the course Croatia's tourism should take, and that four and five-star facilities were "far fuller". "We have a vision and the development strategy until 2020 and are preparing a tender for November for a new development strategy for the next seven to ten years."

This time two years ago all media said we were bursting at the seams. Today we have as many tourists as two years ago. That's actually Croatia's limit because of the infrastructure of its cities, Cappelli said.

More sports news can be found in the dedicated section.

Monday, 15 April 2019

Čakovec Declared European City of Sport 2020

ZAGREB, April 15, 2019 - The town of Čakovec, about 100 kilometres north of Zagreb, will carry the title of "European City of Sport" in 2020 which is awarded by the ACES Europe non-profit association, Cakovec mayor Stjepan Kovač said earlier this week.

Kovač added that the award is recognition of the city's hard work over the years in the field of sports but also motivation to introduce new activities in an effort to raise sports to a higher level.

Kovač said the track will soon be refurbished and artificial grass laid on a football field. He also announced plans to build outdoor swimming pools and new tennis grounds, saying that he believes Čakovec will justify its title of European City of Sports.

He added that the town's candidacy for the award focused on it being a city of sports for all age groups and sexes, and said that special facilities exist for the disabled and particular attention is dedicated to children and youth.

He said that special events will be held throughout 2020 in the entire area of Čakovec and that in that regard a special task force has been established to plan an activities calendar.

Čakovec was given the Europe City of Sport award in the category for cities with 25,000 to 500,000 inhabitants.

Sisak is the only other Croatian town to have been awarded in that category and was awarded and European City of Sports 2019.

More news about Čakovec can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 1 April 2019

Spirit of Pleasure and Sports Meet in Baranja

On the last day of March, the Baranja region, this pearl of Pannonia, hosted two events that combined fun, sports in nature and enjoyment of life: Kotrljanerski Doručak and Banovo Brdo Trk & Bic Vertikal.

The Kotrljaneri Recreational Cycling Association from Osijek organised the Kotrljanerski Doručak (Kotrljanerski Breakfast) for the sixth time. The concept is straightforward: all cyclists who want to participate gather at the agreed location, have a morning coffee together, climb on their bicycles, and go for breakfast together. This year, the gathering location was a cafe bar in the centre of Bilje, and breakfast was organised at Baranjska Kuća restaurant in the Karanac ethno-village.


The route was just over twenty kilometres long, enough to wake up the appetite. The path led the participants to the northern part of the Baranja tourist route. After Bilje we went through Vardarac and its two fantastic restaurants; the one is the Citadela, the other is Darocz.

Once, before the treaty of Trianon, Vardarac was called Darocz. According to some interpretations, the word darocz means a hunter who deals with skinning the animals. The village received its prefix Vár (“fort” in Hungarian) in the early 20th century, probably because the Baranyavar fort once owned it.

Two days before the Kotraljanerski Doručak, we stopped at Darocz with the intent to try the “perkelt” made with rooster’s balls. Unfortunately, the restaurant was full of guests, due to excellent food and the tamburitza band which played that evening. Since we did not reserve our seats in advance, we had to quench our hunger somewhere else. Fortunately, we did not have to go too far away; we were in Baranja after all.


In addition to great food, Vardarac is a village known for the "Kakasutes" event (beating of the rooster) – the final event of carnival ceremonies. The young men from the village dress as roosters and have the right to take away all the poultry from the yards, so people hide their hens and chickens and give them roosters instead. Costumed roosters then put patches on girls’ eyes, and they have to find the actual roosters to beat. At least, that is how it used to be, but in the meantime, the real roosters have been replaced with puppets. According to the folklore, the fastest girl to complete the task will be the first to marry. Interestingly, this custom exists just in Vardarac. It has almost gone instinct, but the local youth restarted it in 2003.

The next village on the route is Lug, which hosts the eponymous hotel and the Zlatni Bunar restaurant. After we were rejected in Vardarac, this is where we enjoyed the fishy delicacies, such as Counts’ perch. Lug is also known as the location of the Paprika Festival, which brings together the biggest Croatian fans of hot spices. Even Goran Vrabec was shocked last year.

010419 Baranja4

We then go through Grabovac and arrive at Kneževi Vinogradi, where we take the roundabout to Karanac, the second part of the Baranja's tourist route. Karanac is an interesting village with three churches (Catholic, Orthodox and Reformed), two wineries (Svijetli Dvori and Szabo), several excellent family farms (such as Bakine Čarolije) and a famous restaurant – Baranjska Kuća, which was the location of our breakfast.

After a welcome drink, our host Bajo led us to the Street of the Lost Times, which was followed by a rich Baranja breakfast. Bread, lard, peppers, onions, pork greaves, sausages, “švargla”, bacon, everything was on offer. After the breakfast, we had enough energy to go to the top of Banovo Brdo, not through Kamenac, but via a field route directly from Karanac and attend (this time as spectators) another exciting sporting and entertainment event.


The sports and recreational club Žuti Šešir from Osijek organised Banovo Brdo Trk & Bic on the most beautiful Croatian wine route. The gathering place was the Belje viewpoint. Cyclists fought in a knockout competition on an 800-metre track, with a 100-metre height difference. Runners had to run eight kilometres, and they had a height difference of 200 metres.

010419 Baranja2

Banovo Brdo was full of visitors, among whom I found my cycling colleagues from Serbia. An ideal opportunity to talk and draft new cycling plans. Spring has just begun, and the bike is a perfect means of transport for hedonists because you are too slow on foot and too fast in a car. How many hidden hedonistic corners, starting from the wineries to excursion sites to family farms have I discovered on my bicycle? It is difficult to count them all, but it is impossible to count how many more there are yet to be found.

And Baranja, although a relatively small region, is always a pleasant surprise, just when I think I got to know everything there is to know. There is that old poem about Baranja: “Who knows what kind of beauties Baranja has, we have to enjoy them. I have the feeling I have to discover them, and then I will be happier. We need to enjoy every moment; the challenges are in every corner."

More news on the Baranja region can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Friday, 23 November 2018

Croatia and China Successfully Developing Cooperation in Sports

ZAGREB, November 23, 2018 - Sports cooperation between Croatia and China was presented in the Dražen Petrović Basketball Hall in Zagreb on Friday, and the event was attended by Chinese Vice-Premier Sun Chunlan.

Mrs Sun was accompanied by Cao Weidong, Chairman of the Beijing Sports University, the largest sports university in the world, and a Chinese government delegation. They watched a basketball match between Croatian and Chinese students, which kicked off the event.

Over a hundred Chinese children of all ages come to Croatia every year to attend Croatian sports programmes and train in sports in which Croatia is traditionally strong, such as football, handball, water polo and basketball.

"I have come to visit young Chinese athletes in Croatia to see how they are doing in their education and training in a country that takes pride in its incredible sporting successes. In Croatia, they will learn a lot about sports technology and tactics in sports that are not so developed in China, such as handball and water polo. In the future, these young athletes will be a bridge of friendship between our countries, and they will make lots of friends in Croatia. I take this opportunity to invite young Croatian students and athletes to come to China," Sun said.

This project began ten years ago with the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Croatian and the Chinese Olympic Committee, and it includes exchanges of athletes, coaches, teachers and sports knowledge, project leader Damir Knjaz said.

"This cooperation is proof of the quality and expertise of the University of Zagreb and its Faculty of Kinesiology, which offers professional education and advanced training to Chinese students. The young Chinese will learn Croatian and become a bridge between Croatia and China, which will be a leading country in all areas within the next 20 years," said the head of the University of Zagreb, Damir Boras.

For more on the relations between Croatia and China, click here.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Government Promises More Funds for Sports Infrastructure

ZAGREB, July 19, 2018 - Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković opened a government session on Thursday by congratulating once again the national football team on winning the silver medal at the World Cup in Russia, noting that the government was willing to take part in efforts to find the best possible solution for a national stadium but without ignoring the football infrastructure in Split, Rijeka and Osijek.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Sisak Named 2019 European City of Sports

With 38% of locals engaged in sports activities, Sisak truly is a town of sports.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Table-Tennis Legend Dragutin Šurbek Dies at 72

ZAGREB, July 15, 2018 - Croatia's greatest table-tennis player, Dragutin Šurbek, died during the night between Saturday and Sunday. He was 72.

Friday, 13 July 2018

11 Reasons Why We Love Croatia

In addition to football, there are other reasons why people love Croatia.

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