Four gold medals were won by the Bulgarian representatives in the three youth tournaments of the popular city sports this weekend in Sofia. In the hall of the “St. George” Private International School, the young talents triumphed in break dancing and shared the victories in street fitness and taekwondo. The Turkish athletes are second in the overall ranking with three titles, and the representatives of Portugal left with two gold medals.
Over 240 young talents from the three countries gathered in Sofia this weekend to highlight, through sport and physical exercise, ways to tackle the main environmental challenges affecting climate change. Competitions, demonstrations and presentations took place in Bulgaria from Friday to Sunday, which clearly show concern for the future of the planet and the possibilities of using sports to alert humanity to the challenges and dangers it faces.
The program in the Bulgarian capital started on Friday with a seminar at Park Hotel “Moscow”, where 50 young people from the three countries presented good practices and initiatives for sustainable use of land for physical activities, sports and sports infrastructure. Later, they all visited the History Museum of Sofia, after which the taekwondo, break and street fitness tournaments followed. Break races are already in the official program of the Paris 2024 games. Street fitness performances are among the most popular and awaited by young urban disciplines, which have been attracting thousands to the sets for several years.
All activities take place under the NOFIRE project, which commits sports to a cleaner and greener planet. The initiative is based on the ancient concept of the four elements that define our lives and existence by promoting the sports associated with them. Each project partner organizes a sports event dedicated to one of the elements – water, air, earth – by holding related sports. The fourth element – fire – will not be explored, thus emphasizing the message that fire means heat, symbolizing global warming, therefore – it is not for play.
Three sustainable sporting events are planned, demonstrating how sporting organizations can pave the way to reducing their carbon footprint when hosting international competitions at local level. The program started two weeks ago in Turkey, where the municipality of Chorlu hosted basketball, volleyball and urban parkour competitions under the symbolic motto “air”. Last weekend in Sofia, taekwondo, break dancing and street fitness were promoted by the Bulgarian Sports Federation for children and youth at risk with the “land” tag, and next week the Municipality of Lisbon in Portugal will host competitions in swimming, water polo and adapted swimming for disadvantaged people under the symbol “water”.
The engine of the NOFIRE (Don’t play with fire) sports project, which is financed by the Erasmus+ SPORT program of the European Union, is the Bulgarian Sports Federation for Children and Youth at Risk with chairman Anatoli Iliev.
A total of 1,260 vulnerable young people with limited opportunities, including those with disabilities and special needs, are expected to be involved in the project activities. In addition, trainings for local communities and carefully selected participants give young people the necessary knowledge and skills to act in favor of environmental protection, stimulating them to behave responsibly in and through the practice of physical activities. At the same time, workshops aimed at the local sports community will raise awareness of the impact of climate change on sport and the important contribution that sport can make to achieving the EU’s environmental sustainability goals.
Ranking in the individual tournaments held in Sofia:
Strength test – Bulgaria
Form – Portugal
Sparring – Turkey
Complex – Portugal, Turkey, Bulgaria
1. Todor Zamierkov
2. Angel Madin
3. Nikolai Rangelov
1. Maria Dimitrova
2. Maximiliana Mihailova
3. Elif Mustafa (Turkey)
1. Mihail Matev (Bulgaria)
2. Vasil Kojabashiski (Bulgaria)
3. Martin Rakov (Bulgaria)
1. Sute (Turkey)
2. Danla (Turkey)
3. Rosa (Portugal)
1. Aegean (Turkey)
2. Pedro (Portugal)
3. Igor (Portugal)