1,000 Participants, 5 Days: 15th European Veteran Rugby Festival in Split

Daniela Rogulj

Slobodna Dalmacija reports on June 11, 2019, that the 15th European Veteran Rugby Festival begins in Split this Thursday, June 13 and ends on Monday, June 17. Just less than 1000 participants will spend five days in Split and Dalmatia under the slogan “fun, friendship, brotherhood and family!”

The established Split Rugby Club ‘Nada’, with its many outstanding sports traditions, celebrates two important anniversaries in 2019 – 60 years since the club was founded and 45 years of the ‘Ragbi ’59’ Veterans’ Club. Thus, their colleagues from 17 European countries and teams from Argentina and New Zealand will help them mark these significant anniversaries.

The Split rugby players, along with the support of the City of Split, the Croatian Rugby Federation,  the Split Association of Sport, TZ Split and TZ Split-Dalmatia County, will ensure all of their guests feel comfortable and that their stay in Split will be one for the memory books, once again promoting Split and Dalmatia as a significant sports and tourist destination with an exceptionally vibrant cultural and historical heritage and a renowned and respected gastronomic offer

For these reasons, the event is conceived in the form of a festival where, alongside the sport, guests have the opportunity to get acquainted with the customs and traditions of the host. The sports part of the event will be held throughout the day on Friday, June 14 and Sunday, June 16 at the Nada Rugby Club and the HNK Hajduk Split auxiliary fields.

The festivals were usually held every two years until 2012, and from 2013, they’ve been held every year. The European Golden Oldies Rugby Festival (EGOR) is intended for veteran rugby players over 35 years of age. At the Split festival, as well as all the previous editions, there will be a significant number of players over the age of 70.

The festival’s spirit is best shown by the fact that there are no medals awarded by placement and team results, but the awards are shared by teams that best reflect the spirit of veteran rugby, the oldest players, the toughest teams and players, the most beautiful moves and actions (teams and individuals) and the best fair-play.

The event aims to promote the sport as one for all ages and educates about the different countries, nations, cultures, customs, and traditions of host cities. The tradition of the Golden Oldies festival dates back to 1979 when the world’s first festival was held in Auckland. The first European festival was held in Hertogenbosch in the Netherlands in 1992. To date, there have been a total of 14.

The reputation of the Split rugby in the European Rugby Union is best explained by the fact that Nada and the City of Split are the only that has had the opportunity to organize this event twice in the 37 years of the EGOR Festival. Recall, Split held their first EGOR Festival in 2002.

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