The Olympic motto is “faster, higher, stronger”, but according to Pierre De Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic games; “The important thing in life is not to triumph but to compete.” That is the exact motive that young amateurs on the eastern part of Brač island had when they started a great sporting event in Selca municipality four years ago.
As all of the sporting world is waiting for the Olympic games to kick off this weekend, we found a perfect way to mark the meaning of sport in the little municipality of Selca, the small community in the eastern part of Brač island. The district consists of four small places: Selca, Povlja, Sumartin and Novo Selo, and with some 1500 inhabitants, there is a sport festival with more than 500 participants each year, and more than two thousand spectators in total.
We researched the event, and it is a little Olympics in fact. It is staged in the summer time, and consists of tournaments in different sports; football, basketball, water polo, tennis, table tennis, futsal, cage ball, and traditional Dalmatian boccia game. There is also the kayak race and pedal boat race at the beachfront.
The idea was born in the heads of the young locals, who were missing the sport and entertainment events during the summer, so they decided to take the matter into their hands and organize both sporting and music events. They knocked on the door of the young Selca Mayor, Ivan Marijančević, got the support and started the story that is the talk of the summer in Brač island for four years now.
We talked with Stanko Tonšić, one of the young people who had no patience to wait for someone else to improve the offer for youngsters in the island;
“We simply wanted to have something to do in the evenings, after a day’s work that occupies us during the summer. As there was no content for young people at our part of the island, we decided to do something about it. We had a futsal tournament staged every year, so we decided to extend it to the other sports, and collect the funds for one big party which would be cheap enough for everybody.”
It is a series of events, how is it funded, and who contributed to the organization?
“Selca municipality gave us a license to use the sporting facilities, and has provided financially with a small amount, and pretty much all the local private entrepreneurs contributed. The response surprised us, so we decided to raise voluntary contributions from the central party, and all the money was donated to humanitarian organizations on the island. And regarding the work, it is done exclusively by volunteers, so we practically had no expenses at all.”
The start was a small one, but after four years, it became the story of the summer on Brač island. As time passed, the events got bigger, so the party for a couple hundred of local people in the first year grew to the party for more than two thousand people in the last summer.
This summer, it got even bigger, and this year’s leading organizer, Tonči Dragičević told us about this year’s program:
“It started as a series of local events, but this year we had calls by tourists visiting Brač who decided to adjust the time of arrival according to our itinerary, as they wanted to participate in different events. Also, this year we have our traditional party on the August 4th, where we expect even more than two thousand visitors we had in the last year. We decided to do an extra mile, and organize one more music event, ten days later, in the “Didolić Palace,” ancient park we have cleaned up in the last couple of years and brought it to life.”
We visited the events, and if we had to pick favorite one, it would be the opening one, when the young take on the old on the football pitch, and even though the motto is all about the participation, nobody wants to lose that one, as the losing side has to put up the mockery by the other side for the whole year.
The game is staged on the day of the Selca patron, Lady of Mount Carmel, July 16th, and the losing side has to wait for the year to pass to fight back. Although the result is not so important, we will inform you that this year the younger won after two consecutive losses, and will have a year’s time free of mockery.
One not to miss is also the traditional female futsal match between the married and single women from Selca, one more event bringing a lot of fun for both the participants and spectators alike. The female involvement in the tournaments is quite significant, one more reason for the organizers to be proud.
As we talked a lot about the participation, all that is left for us is to extend the word and call on upon our readers that plan to visit Brač to do the same and enjoy both sporting spirit of the islanders, and their great hospitality. To keep up with the events, there is the official Facebook page of the Selca sport summer.