In an article titled ‘More than a game’, Field reminded of the statement once given by one of the greatest British managers of all times, Bill Shankly: “Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that”.

According to Field, sport should never be the most important thing, and part of its blessing is that it remains fun and inclusive. That, however, “does not mean (sport) cannot be important, and have a reach that goes far beyond the playing field”, wrote Field.

Major sporting moments can bring people together, and change the way a whole country is seen by the rest of the world. I think EYOF could do just that, especially as both Sarajevo and Istocno Sarajevo share the spotlight - I love the motto ‘Two cities, one dream’”, the UK Ambassador explained.

Bosnia and Herzegovina has many sporting ambassadors around the world, from Roma’s Edin Dzeko to judo’s Larisa Ceric. And as well as helping to put the country on the map, they of course have the ability to draw new generations into being active, from serious athletes to weekend walkers - all helping to promote the benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle”.

Which brings me back to EYOF. Even a non-local like me”, wrote Field, “can feel a tingle of excitement at seeing the new mascot, Groodvy, alongside legendary Vucko”.

I am sure that everyone who comes to participate, or watches, will see once again that amazing hospitality and spirit of ’84. With no Torvill and Dean and their amazing Bolero, I cannot get my hopes up too much about British medals. But I am sure that the games will again bring people together, challenge our ideas of what is possible, and inspire us to greater things”, he concluded.

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