Sport supported in the EUG 2018 legacy
The 4th edition of the European Universities Games will be an unforgettable event to the city of Coimbra, to the University and for Portugal. But it will be above all unforgettable for all young people that will take part. This event will be an opportunity to improve their knowledge through a huge sport event, inspiring them by our love about sports.
Let me explain the beginning of our history involving sports, young people and the power that can be created when we join these two important assets.
In 1969, Portugal was under a dictatorial regime, without freedom of speech, justice and equality, where all young people dreamed with a generation of knowledge and a free, modern and emancipated country. During that year, the University of Coimbra was occupied by military forces trying to repel the students strikes. It was in that particular spring when Coimbra’s Student Academy football team reached the finals at the Portuguese Football Cup. In this team only students took part and became the face, the strength and the passport of freedom, not only of the academy, but of all who dreamed with a different future with more human rights, democracy and better education. During that time, Coimbra’s Academy sold out the National Stadium with a huge black and white spot claiming for “Freedom and Peace”. The regime tried everything to stop the riots but it wasn’t enough. This moment awaked the conscience of the whole country, day after day resistance became smaller until a few years later when Portugal was finally free. That day and that game changed the course of the history and the hope toke over.
So, after almost 50 years, in one of the oldest universities in the world, the young people will make history again with such a big event that goes beyond sport, promoting an excellent forum of intercultural promotion and exchange experiences and knowledge, culture and education. Sports will make a difference once again. This is not an event we’re talking about, this is a lifetime opportunity that will change something in people ́s mind and in the community. The Portuguese young leaders will have the opportunity to became better citizens and professionals and achieve the development of people through sport accomplishing Pierre the Coubertin’s dream.
Not only the human being, increasing experience and knowledge will mark this event, it will create more conditions to get more students practicing sport in the university. Sport as art of their daily life.
The goal to increase the number of student’s athletes and became a center of sport in Portugal. Beyond the Games, the organization is working to create a High Performance Sports Laboratory associated to the Faculty of Sport Sciences, inside Coimbra’s University Stadium, in order to take sports and physical activity scientific investigation one step forward. Also, they want to create a dormitory for high performance student-athletes, to achieve the dual career goal.
Through the event all entities, the city, the schools, the clubs the university can create favorable conditions and enhance sports practice engaging athletes from several ages and levels, even elite athletes.
Filipa Godinho, Portugal