Kustec joins EU sport ministers in urging help for Ukrainian athletes

Brussels/Ljubljana – Slovenia’s Simona Kustec and other EU ministers of sport condemned on Monday the Russian aggression against Ukraine and highlighted the role and fundamental values of the European sport model in this context. They also called for support for Ukrainian athletes, the Slovenian Ministry of Education, Science and Sport said.

Kustec, minister of education, science and sport, attended today’s session of EU ministers responsible for sport that was addressed by Ukrainian Minister of Sport Vadim Gutzeit. He called for aid to Ukrainian athletes.

“Taking away the right to life, to life’s dreams, desires and goals is the most perverted image you can give of yourself. Today, there are already around 200 Ukrainian athletes in Slovenia, coming from different sport disciplines, who have been given a refuge in our country,” Kustec said as quoted by the ministry.

The Slovenian Olympic Committee is actively helping to provide training conditions with a solidarity response fund and by coordinating accommodation and contacts for training, she added and urged joining efforts to help the athletes.

Kustec also drew attention to the values of the European model of sport, adopted by the ministers during the Slovenian EU presidency in 2021. The concept is now even more important at this time of crisis, she said, stressing the importance of a values-based image of sport both in sporting arenas and in relation to all forms of aggression.

The ministers also discussed gender equality in sport and the role of sport in promoting sustainable development, noting that more and more sports organisations were working towards sustainable and environmentally friendly sporting events.