Zagreb, June 4, 2019 - At the ceremony held at the Westin hotel in Zagreb, the Croatian Olympic Committee (HOO) awarded - for the first time - the Milan Neralić Award for an outstanding contribution to the development of sports at the local level. The laureates are: Anton Peruško (Sports Association of Istrian County), Slobodan Gračaković (Sports Association of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County), Emil Pravdić (Association for Sports Recreation "Sport for all" of Osijek-Baranja County), Zlatko Lasan (ŽRK Dugo Selo '55) and one community – the Sports Community of Zadar, on whose behalf the recognition was received by its President Snježana Jurinić.
The Trophy that bears the name after the legendary swordsman from Slunj and the first Croatian Olympic medalist (bronze medal won at the Summer Olympics Paris 1900), was established by the decision of the CNOC Council brought at its 24th Session at the end of March this year. The Award consists of a written charter and a sculpture bearing a symbolic link with Neralić's image and achievement. In cooperation with the Academy of Fine Arts of the University of Zagreb, a contest was announced for making the sculpture and the author of the winning work is the Academy student Matija Gajić Puškarić. His original work was presented at the ceremony to Ivan Požega, Deputy Mayor of Slunj, the birthplace of Milan Neralić.
The members of the Contest jury in charge for decision on the winner were: Mladen Pavičević (President), Darko Ivošević, Mario Meštrović, Ante Tanfara, Zvjezdana Tuma Pavlov, Sanda Čorak and Siniša Krajač, who is also the initiator of the introduction of this recognition.
On the occasion of the World Challenge Day and in the years to come, on that day the CNOC Award Milan Neralić will be presented to physical persons as a reward for lifetime achievement in the activities of sports at the local level and to legal entities for a long-standing contribution to the development of local sports.
CNOC President Zlatko Mateša emphasized that this is the kind of recognition the deserving individuals involved in sports at the local level needed "because in sports most often everything begins in small communities, at the local level". (CNOC/VK)