Welcome message from President of the Athletics Federation of Serbia

In my role as President of the Athletics Federation of Serbia, I have a great honor and privilege to welcome all of you to Belgrade for the 20th SPAR European Cross Country Championships in December 2013. This highly regarded competition is one of the most prominent events in our sport scheduled for the next year and you can take my word as a guarantee that Belgrade will be ready to be the best host anyone can hope for. Next year’s Championships will be the most significant athletics competition that Belgrade has organized since 1969, so you can be sure we are taking this opportunity extremely seriously and working very hard to complete all the preparations in time.

Our recent track record regarding organization of international athletic events is quite impressive. In 2009, Serbia hosted the European Junior Championship, followed by European Team Championships 2nd League and European Athletics Convention in 2010 and European Team Championships in 2011. We see the upcoming SPAR European Cross Country Championships as the crown of our efforts to revive athletics in our country and put Serbia on the map of European sports, where it rightfully belongs. Based on the previous experiences, we firmly believe that our organizational capacities are sufficient to handle this responsibility in appropriate manner and all of you will be in position to evaluate our hospitality, level of technical aptitude and dedication to precision and punctuality.

It is our hope that organization of a major event like the one European Athletics Association entrusted us with in 2013 can be a key driver of athletics popularity in the country and can bring us in closer contact with the larger European family of sports professionals and enthusiasts. You can rest assured that Athletics Federation of Serbia, along with countless employees and volunteers engaged on this task, will do everything within our power to make your stay at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships worth remembering and telling about.

I look forward to meeting all of you next year in Belgrade and showing you the best contemporary Serbia has to offer.

Sincerely,

Veselin Jevrosimovic

Welcome message from the European Athletics President

European Athletics is Serbia has made great strides over the past few years in hosting European Athletics events, and I am confident that the 2013 SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Belgrade will be another success story.ery pleased with the relationship that exists with the Athletics Federation of Serbia. The Serbian federation is a very active one, considering that it hosted the 2009 European Athletics Junior Championships in Novi Sad, the 2010 European Team Championships 2nd League and 2010 European Athletics Convention in Belgrade and the 2011 European Team Championships 2nd League in Novi Sad.

Thus, I have had many reasons to be in Serbia over the last few years, and after one of the last visits there I left impressed with the excellent cooperation the federation has with the Serbian government, Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Sport and Youth and the City of Belgrade. They understand the importance of what Serbian athletics is trying to achieve.

The Serbian Federation is a progressive one with President Veselin Jevrosimovic being someone who has vision. We are pleased with our cooperation. I hope to see Serbia to continue to be a key Member Federation in the organisation of European Athletics events. In the long run, we hope the development of grassroots athletics means that Serbia produces some of the best European athletes.

And so we turn our attention to the SPAR European Cross Country Championships in Belgrade – the 20th edition of the event. We have seen the impressive city centre location of the cross country course, and I have been assured that early preparations are going well in the city.

The discipline of cross country is growing to be an ever more important part of athletics during the winter months. Cross country brings together athletes from the middle distances up to the marathon in the same race and provides a special challenge as the running surface can change according to the weather conditions.

The SPAR European Cross Country Championships are always an exciting and interesting competition, with the added dimension of also being a team event. The combination of the fantastic location in Belgrade and the natural obstacles on the course will provide a memorable experience for athletes, officials and fans alike.

I would like to thank in advance the Athletics Federation of Serbia and the Belgrade 2013 Local Organising Committee for their hard work now and in the future with regards to the organisation of the championships. I hope that Belgrade 2013 continues the success story of the SPAR European Cross Country Championships and I look forward to meeting Europe’s cross country family in December 2013 in Serbia’s capital city.

Hansjörg Wirz
European Athletics President

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