Zagreb, July 16, 2020 - Croatian Olympic Committee (COC) and Romani Union in the Republic of Croatia "Kali Sara" signed a Cooperation Agreement aimed at contributing to the promotion of integration of the Romani national minority into Croatian society and development of sports, sports values and sports infrastructure within the common interests of the two associations.
The Agreement was signed at the Croatian Olympic Committee’s headquarters by the President of the Croatian Olympic Committee Zlatko Mateša and the President of the Romani UnionSuzanaKrčmar, who then pointed out that "Kali Sara" as one of the largest Romani unions in Europe, with about 40 member associations, counts a large number of young athletes in its ranks.
- Due to the great interest and presence of sports in the Romanicommunity, in cooperation with member of the Parliament VeljkoKajtazi, we have built 16 multi-purpose sports venues in Romani settlements in Croatia - said Krčmar.
The event was also attended by the re-elected representative of the Romani national minority in the Croatian Parliament, VeljkoKajtazi, who stated:
- I feel very happy because this is the first time a Romani community signed the Cooperation Agreement with a National Olympic Committee, as in this case the Union "Kali Sara" did with the Croatian Olympic Committee. In my 20 years of dealing with the Romani issues, I have not heard of such a thing in other countries. I thank President Mateša for recognizing us as partners and I believe that with this Agreement we will more easily realize future projects, for which we plan to participate for support from EU funds as well .
After signing ofthe Agreement, welcomed by the Croatian Olympic Committee’s Assistant Secretary General for Olympic Program DamirŠegota who presented the audience the latest information on re-scheduling Tokyo Olympics for 2021, the Head of the Croatian Olympic CommitteeMatešahighlighted again the most important segment of the Agreement:
- For a long time we have been following the efforts of member of Parliament VeljkoKajtazi and the central Romani Union in the Republic of Croatia, who are trying to better integrate the Romani community into the Croatian society. Sport is a great way to do this and I believe that with the continuation of infrastructure projects, this process will be further improved. With President Krčmar, I agreed with the idea of an annual meeting of representatives of their Union and the Croatian Olympic Committee in three sports - football, basketball and volleyball, with intention of making it a tradition. (COC/VK)