Ljubljana hosts Women's EHF EURO 2022 welcome event
Exactly 313 days before the final of the upcoming Women's EHF EURO 2022, almost everyone connected with the spectacle, the largest women's sporting event in the history of Slovenia, gathered in the Stožice Arena for an introductory event. Between 4 and 20 November 2022, Ljubljana's Stožice Arena and Celje's Zlatorog Arena, plus the capitals of North Macedonia and Montenegro, Skopje and Podgorica, will host the Women's EHF EURO 2022.
On Tuesday, the first act of the upcoming Women's European Championship took place. The organising committee prepared a welcome event at the VIP grandstand in the Stožice Arena, which will host 20 of the 47 matches at the EHF EURO 2022. At the presentation, Franjo Bobinac, the President of the Slovenian Handball Federation, who are the main organisers of the competition in Slovenia, announced that the tournament will be much more than a sporting event.
The focus will be on sustainable development, a team of extremely successful Slovenian women from various fields, who have accepted the role as ambassadors of the championship, and on another championship ambassador: Senidah – the most recognisable singer in the region who will release the Women's EHF EURO 2022 anthem before the summer.
The Slovenian organisers have decided not to focus only on the sporting aspect of the event, but they will use the largest women's sports championship in the history of Slovenia for many other messages, promotions and modern events. The central messages will be sustainable development and the empowerment of women in sport and society. Successful Slovenian women from various fields, mostly unconnected to sport, will ensure that this is the case.
Franjo Bobinac, President of the Slovenian Handball Federation and Honorary President of the Women's EHF EURO 2022 organising committee: "I am really happy to welcome you in such large numbers. Our championship this year will have two main pillars: the first is sustainability, and the second is the empowerment of women in general and in sport. We are extremely happy to have acquired a fantastic and distinguished team of respected, famous, creative ladies who prove their creativity and knowledge every day and leave a mark with which they create a better world. Thanks are also due to the European Handball Federation for trusting the organisation of this championship to three countries."
Michael Wiederer, President of the European Handball Federation: "Ljubljana is always an exceptional host of sporting events. Having so many important women who will be ambassadors of the championship is a great idea and will bring great added value to the championship in Slovenia, Northern Macedonia, and Montenegro. Slovenia hosted an excellent European Championship for men in 2004, Northern Macedonia hosted an excellent European Championship for women in 2008, Montenegro has an exceptional tradition of women's handball."
Senidah, Special Ambassador of the Women's EHF EURO 2022, singer and writer of the championship anthem: "I am honoured to be an ambassador of the championship. It’s time for us women to create something big. Handball is a great opportunity for that. I will prepare the anthem of the championship so that we will also convey the message of the empowerment of women in our society with music. The song 'Play with Heart' will be in English, it will be fan-coloured, and we will hear it before the summer. I cannot wait!"
Petar Kapisoda, President of the Handball Federation of Montenegro: "I thank the Handball Federation of Slovenia and Franjo Bobinec for the excellent cooperation, and I believe in the excellent performance of the championship. We always feel great in Ljubljana. I am convinced that Montenegro will justify the trust as a good organiser of its part of the EURO 2022 at the highest possible level."
Aleksandar Stefanov, member of the executive board of the Handball Federation of North Macedonia: "It is a great honour for North Macedonia to host this great championship, as handball is the number one sport in our country. This will be our second Women's European Championship after 2008. We are very much looking forward to this challenge – and, of course, welcome to Skopje in November!"
The first of many events
The welcome event to the European Championship is the first of many events that will be prepared by the Slovenian organisers before the start of the competition. The next one will follow very soon. In the spring, Ljubljana will host the draw for the Women's EHF EURO 2022, where Slovenia will discover their opponents in the preliminary round.
A strong team of ambassadors was also present at the presentation of Euro 2022
Most of the successful Slovenians, who accepted the role of ambassador of the European Women's Handball Championship, were at the welcome event in Stožice. Until the Championship, as Euro Ambassadors in various roles, they will be present at various events (in alphabetical order):
- Alja Brglez, Head of Cabinet for the President of Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor
- Barbara Čeferin, Outstanding Slovenian Photographer
- Deja Ivanović (Doler), Director of Handball Club Krim Mercator and Vice President of Women’s Forum Club Handball
- Mojca Doupona, Director-General of Sport Directorate at the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport
- Tjaša Ficko, Deputy Mayor of Ljubljana
- Vanja Hrovat, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors at Generali
- Katarina Karlovšek, CEO of RTA agency
- Vanja Lombar, Managing Director and Head of Retail Business Unit of OMV Slovenija
- Medeja Lončar, CEO of Siemens Slovenija
- Maja Pak, longtime Director of the Slovenian Tourist Board
- Nataša Pirc Musar, lawyer, partner and director of the law firm Pirc Musar & Lemut Strle
- Lucija Sajevec, CEO of the National Automobile Association of Slovenia (AMZS)
- Melanie Seier Larsen, Managing Director and Partner at Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
- Tanja Subotić Levanič, Corporate Affairs Director at Laško Union Brewery
- Milena Štular, President of the Supervisory Board of the humanitarian project Botrstvo v Sloveniji
- Ajša Vodnik, Vice-Chair at European Council of American Chambers of Commerce (ECACC),
- Maja Zalaznik, Full Professor at the University of Ljubljana