While our female handball players are fighting heartily at the 15th European Championship, the children of Ljubljana kindergartens and the school are expressing their creative energy. The largest women’s sports event in independent Slovenia is the main theme of the Let’s Create with Heart exhibition, which will be open between November 8 and 17 in the central atrium of the Ljubljana City Hall.

The exhibition of almost 100 handball-themed artworks by children from Najdihojc, Oton Župančič, and Vodmat kindergartens, as well as Majda Vrhovnik, Šmartno pod Šmarno Goro and Vodmat elementary schools, were selected under the leadership of Euro’s ambassador Barbara Čeferin and her team. The exhibition was opened by Nika Kores Sraka and the Kette and Murn elementary school band.

“As always, we started the campaign with heart. Thanks, especially to the children who made fantastic artwork – I noticed quite a few women represented in the drawings – so we can be justifiably proud of them. They have taken a small but not insignificant step in the cycle of sustainable activities of the largest women’s sports competition in independent Slovenia,” said Franjo Bobinac, president of the Handball Federation of Slovenia, at the exhibition’s opening.

The event was attended by, among others, the mayor of the Municipality of Ljubljana, Zoran Janković, the deputy mayor and ambassador of the championship, Tjaša Ficko, the president of the Handball Association of Slovenia, Franjo Bobinac, Marija Fabčič, head of the Department for Pre-School Education and Education, Women’s EHF Euro ambassadors dr. Maja Zalaznik and Deja Ivanović, representatives of the Smetumet association Maja Rijavec and Simon Šprunk from Tekstina. Children from participating kindergartens in Ljubljana also came to see the displayed products.

“For the final weekend, we will move the exhibition to Stožice so that the drawings will also be on display for all visitors, fans, and guests who will follow the final fights for the title of Europen elite,” announced Tjaša Ficko. Specific motifs can also be displayed on poster sites in city centers.

The children dedicated the beginning of the school year to handball with sports and cross-curricular activities and co-created the championship story outside the halls. One of the activities was an art competition about Women’s Handball. Students created art on Japanese knotweed paper, made from an invasive plant in Paplab under the auspices of JP Voka Snaga. To materialize the drawings, the company Tekstina processed the drawings into the fabric that will be used to decorate playing areas for children. “We approached the story because the sustainability aspect is close to us. We made a new fabric from the old textile, on which we printed the pictures. The idea is unique, as it connected children and other stakeholders,” said the director of Tekstina.

Bracelets made from old handball jerseys and balls designed by the Smetumet association were also displayed at the Magistrate. These souvenirs, handmade in Slovenia, are an excellent example of a circular economy, as used jerseys, handballs, and nets have taken on a whole new meaning. “We turned waste that would otherwise go to landfill into a product with a strong symbolic message – threads build bracelets and connect people and create bonds that we weave during the championship.”

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