The honour of official opening belonged to the Croatian president Zoran Milanović

The 56th European Karate and Para-Karate Championships are officially opened with a solemn ceremony held in the Žatika Sports Hall in Poreč.

The 56th European Karate and Para-Karate Championships were officially opened with a solemn ceremony held in the Žatika Sports Hall in Poreč.

“It is my, not only honour but a special pleasure to be here and to greet you, not only for the occasion of this European Championship but also for the fact that you have secured Olympic status for your sport this year. It’s not a small thing, that fact speaks for itself and it should have happened a long time ago. This competition in Poreč will run smoothly and successfully. I am declaring the 56th European Open Karate Championship open and I wish luck to all of you” – said the President of the Presidency of the Republic of Croatia, Zoran Milanović.

In addition to the President of the Republic, the opening ceremony was attended by the President of the World Karate Federation (WKF) and the European Karate Federation (EKF), Antonio Espinós; Tomislav Družak, State Secretary for Sports at the Ministry of Tourism and Sports; Loris Peršurić, Mayor of the City of Poreč and Davor Cipek, President of the Croatian Karate Federation and the newly elected Secretary-General of the EKF.

“I would like to thank the president of the Croatian Karate Federation and his team for the excellent work in organizing this championship and the effort that has been invested in the last six months. I would also like to thank the Mayor of the City of Poreč for his hospitality and household, as well as the relevant ministry for their support. We had confidence that everything would go well in Porec. I especially thank Mr President for visiting us and giving his support “- said Espinós, the main leader of European and World karate Federations.

Mr Antonio Espinós, Photo: Matija Juranović

The short occasional opening program in the hall was followed by a very limited number of guests from sports, social and political life – taking into account the epidemiological measures and the COVID-19 protocol implemented at the competition.

“Although the world has been hit by the Covid-19 pandemic, I am extremely glad that sports and athletes have readily responded to all the new challenges that are set before them. By adapting to the new normal, the organization of the National, World and European events was held at the highest level according to all the adopted measures, because the health of athletes as well as all other participants is our number one priority. “- said Tomislav Družak, State Secretary for Sports at the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

From 19 to 23 May, 646 karatekas from 47 European countries gathered in Poreč, and a total of around 1,200 accredited persons are participating in the entire event, who achieved as many as 11,000 overnight stays in Poreč and Istria, which is of great importance for Croatian tourism (especially in these pandemic conditions).

“We have been successful hosts of numerous World and European sports competitions, but this is the first major sports competition in our city after a long break and we are very happy because of that. Euro Karate in Poreč is for us a symbol of returning to the old days, enjoying socializing and events. ”- said the Mayor of the City of Poreč, Loris Peršurić.

The newly elected Secretary General at the opening ceremony European Karate Federation and President of the Croatian Karate Federation, Davor Cipek, shared beautiful words in forint of the gathered: “Karate addresses the world in all languages, uniting all people and generations, regardless of race, gender, religion and political views. Our sports family is widely known for these basic principles. The 56th European Senior Karate Championship in Poreč is more than a competition – it is a place where friendship, respect and tolerance are expressed between all participants. On behalf of the entire Croatian karate family, as well as on behalf of the Organizing Committee, I would like to thank everyone whose involvement and assistance in organizing this magnificent sporting event gave importance to Croatian karate and our sport as a whole.” 

Mr Davor Cipek, Photo: Matija Juranović

As part of the opening program, a demo point of martial arts performed by the Anti-Terrorist Unit Lučko was shown.

In addition to the aforementioned speakers, the opening ceremony was attended by numerous respected guests from sports, political and social life, such as Kaji Misako, Ambassador of Japan in the Republic of Croatia; Ratko Kovačić, President of the Croatian Paralympic Committee; Siniša Krajač, Secretary-General of the Croatian Olympic Committee; Ismet Krasniqi, President of the Kosovo Olympic Committee; Vanja Udovičić, Minister of Youth and Sports of the Republic of Serbia; Željko Jovanović, Advisor to the President of the Republic of Croatia; Haris Pavletić, Vice President of the European University Sports Organization and others.

Let us remind you that Croatia received the host for this event at the very end of December 2020, after the original host of this event, the Swedish city of Gothenburg, gave up hosting due to the pandemic. It is the last point tournament in karate to achieve the norm needed to participate in the upcoming Olympic Games, where karate – in its homeland of Japan – is for the first time in the program of the world’s most prestigious sporting event.

Photo: Matija Juranović
Arawaza 750 x 750

© 56th European Senior Karate Championships
Croatia, Porec - Žatika Sport Centre - May 19 - 23, 2021