Location and general information
The Youth Sports Games started in 1996 in Split, Croatia. The primary motive was to enable children to participate in organised sporting events and other free activities. The Youth Sports Games have become the largest amateur sports event for children and youth in Europe. More than 2 million children have competed in the 25 years since they began.
The games are held in three countries: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia. Primary and secondary-school-age children compete in ten sports disciplines free of charge, and the most successful individuals and teams get to travel to Split to participate in the international finals.
In addition to the games, the association organises regular sports and recreational activities for children to promote health, tolerance and ethical values. The association promotes a lifestyle based on understanding, friendship, solidarity and fair play as an alternative to addiction and deviant behaviour.
Sport is used as a medium to connect with the participants aged 7–18 through tournaments held in over 280 cities in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia. The Youth Sports Games promote a healthy lifestyle and popularise all ten sports (football, street basketball, handball, volleyball, beach volleyball, tennis, table tennis, chess, dodgeball and athletics), as well as educating about sustainability.
In 2020, 186,474 children competed. The objective for 2021 is to have 220,000 participants: 80,000 in Croatia, 50,000 in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and 90,000 in Serbia, and for 30% of the participants to be female. The association also aims to further develop football tournaments for girls and to be a preferred choice for young girls aged 12–15 years.
From January to August 2021, there will be local tournaments held in the three countries, followed by national finals and then the international finals in Split, Croatia. There will also be marketing activities such as promotional campaigns, digital media activities, PR activities, live TV broadcasts and a TV show in each country.
- 35 girls football tournaments with a total of 11,000 participants in the three countries and young girl players aged 12–15 recruited.
- Youth Sports Games football tournaments with a total of 110,000 participants in the three countries.
- Youth Sports Games tournaments in the nine other sports (street basketball, handball, volleyball, beach volleyball, tennis, table tennis, chess, dodgeball and athletics) with a total of 110,000 participants in the three countries.