Events & Meetings

A home away from home at the European Athletics U18 Championships

  • News
  • A home away from home at the European Athletics U18 Championships

Without the accommodation capacity and availability of Banska Bystrica‘s Matej Bel University (UMB), hosting this year‘s European Athletics U18 Championships between 18-21 July would simply not be possible. 

However, for the duration of the Championships, the UMB Special Purpose Facilities Administration (SÚZ) will turn over two of its five dormitories to the Local Organising Committee (LOC) and provide 1500 beds for all the team that will descend of the Slovak city for the fourth edition of these Championships.

"The main benefits are the simplification of administration, catering and transport services, the creation of an atmosphere in the spirit of an Olympic Village and, last but certainly not least, the proximity of the training stadium with a 400m track with eight lanes, which was inaugurated in October 2022,“ commented UMB rector Vladimír Hiadlovský.

The dormitory buildings are also located just 15 minutes’ walk from the venue of the Championships, the SNP Stadium Dukla.

Many members of Banska Bystrica 2024 LOC and its partners have experience of being involved in the highly regarded 2022 European Youth Olympic Festival, when the Matej Bel University dormitories accommodated around 1900 participants. 

However, with that experience to draw on, the Banska Bystrica 2024 LOC is looking to take their logistical services to an even higher level.

"Objectively, we have done a lot, the feedback we have received confirms this and I was glad that the European Athletics delegates noticed this during a recent inspection visit to Banská Bystrica [in March this year],” commented UMB SÚZ Director Ján Gréner.

Around €600,000 has been Invested in equipment and furniture for the Championships accmmodation, which will make a amjor impression on both the athletes and officials at the European Athletics U18 Championships and then the students who will inherit the dormitories at the start of the next academic year.

Compared to the European Youth Olympic Festival, the accommodation will have much more similar feel to a hotel.

Another €400,000 euros were also spent on the reconstruction of unused spaces within the dormitory complex, which will also benefit the teams at the Championships, with communal spaces for both working and socialising.

"This top athletics event was a kind of incubator. It sped up the processes [of refurbishing the accomodation] and relentlessly motivated us to get going and make progress. Everything will be ready at the end of May," added Gréner.

One of the requests of European Athletics made of the LOC and UMB was to expand the wifi network in the accomodation being used for the Championships, and this has been extended across the entire UMB dormitory complex so that it will have long-term benefits for the university and its students.

"We built it ourselves thanks to the UMB Institute of Automation and Communication. The cost was only around €72,000 compared to the cheapest price offer of €160,000 euros from an external company," smiled Gréner. 

In addition to wifi, cabled broadband connections will also be available for European Athletics U18 Championships teams.

"We have contracts with the students [to live in the dormitories] until the end of June so we will have enough time to prepare the entire facility after they leave for the holidays: cleaning, maintenance and fine-tuning of the last details,” reflected Gréner.

"Subsequently, we will operate in a normal mode [for the Championships], like when the dormitories are fully occupied by students. The different components of the ad hoc operation will be the responsibility of the external companies. 

"In this case, too, it is an advantage that most of those involved have experience from the European Youth Olympic Festival. The cooperation during the preparation phase has been problem-free, they are very capable professionals, starting with the people from the Slovak Athletic Federation," added Gréner.

Banska Bystrica 2024 LOC for European Athletics
(photos courtesy of Matej Bel University and Slovak Athletic Federation)

Official Partners
Official Partners
Official Partners
Official Partners
Official Partners
Official Partners
Broadcast Partner
Broadcast Partner
Preferred Suppliers
Supporting Hotel
Photography Agency