Dear athletes and sports fans,

in Celje we are eagerly awaiting the beginning of the European Youth Handball Championship, turning our town into a sports centre in the hot summer days. I am convinced, we can look forward to excellent games, and that our young handball players from Slovenia and abroad will impress us and raise us to our feet with their fierce game. A few unforgettable days of sport pleasure await us that will surely remain in pleasant recollections of everyone. 

In the field of sport, last year went down in golden history of the Municipality of Celje. At the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro we have won the golden and the bronze medal, also many other athletes delighted us with excellent achievements and have proven they can reach for the highest awards. With their results, which are the result of hard work, discipline, perseverance and a fierce spirit, they have contributed significantly to the reputation of our city and even carried its name across borders. The past year was special because we also celebrated 70 years of handball in Celje and the functioning of the Pivovarna Laško Celje Handball Club. On this occasion, we have revived the memory of moments that have marked the development of handball in Celje and remember all those who have put the club on a large map of Europe. 

We can praise ourselves for being a sports town and for being among the leading municipalities in Slovenia regarding sports infrastructure, which is a prerequisite for high-quality sports and recreation. This year we are going to build sports facilities; for the maintenance and operation of sports clubs we are spending around five million euros, which represents about one-tenth of the municipal budget. 

 We wish successful work to the organizers of the Handball European Youth Championship, plenty of luck to all handball players, and great sports pleasures to visitors of the championship. I hope you will take some time in these days to stroll through our beautiful town and see some of the historical, cultural and tourist attractions which we are very proud of.

Bojan Šrot

Mayor of the Municipality of Celje