EUG: it is going to be big deal! 04. Jun. 2024

The event called European University Games (EUG) is a competition for athletes from universities across our continent, representing their home institutions of higher education. It is traditionally hosted in even-numbered years by one of the so-called university cities in Europe. This year, it is going to be held by the Hungarian University Sports Federation (MEFS) on behalf of the European University Sports Association (EUSA), in cooperation with the University of Debrecen, the University of Miskolc and National Event Agency (Nemzeti Rendezvényszervező Ügynökség).

The two Hungarian cities will host the 6th European University Games between July 12 and 24, 2024. At present, we are preparing for the largest university sports event in our country since the 1965 Summer Universiade.

There will be more than 5,000 participants taking part in the multi-sport event, which will feature 17 individual sports disciplines. In fact, we are looking forward to receiving about 5,000 participants, including 3,800 athletes, around 1,000 accompanying persons and officials from 428 universities in 35 European countries. A total of 1,000 volunteers will be helping to ensure the success of the contest over the 15 days of competition.

This year, EUG will be attended by the largest Hungarian delegation ever, with 581 athletes and 110 accompanying persons from 22 Hungarian institutions of higher education registered for the event, according to the details announced at the event's press conference in Miskolc on Monday.

At the press conference, President of the Hungarian University Sports Association Lajos Mocsai noted that never before had so many Hungarian university students taken part in the EUG, while he stressed the importance of health promotion and sports among young and old alike.
State Secretary for Innovation, Higher Education, Vocational Training and Adult Education Balázs Hankó said that 20 billion forints have been spent on the development of the facilities at the University of Miskolc and 2 billion forints on the EUG's organizational tasks. He also pointed out that HUF 2.5 billion per year is being provided to make more and more sporting activities available to young people at Hungarian universities, and praised the role of the University of Debrecen, stressing that the campus of the University of Debrecen is sport itself.

Based on EUG's motto “more than games,” Balázs Baji, Deputy Director General of National Sports Agency (Nemzeti Sportügynökség) for National Sports Strategy and Sports Policy, drew attention to the key role of university sports in lifelong sporting activities.

Economic Manager of the University of Miskolc Zsolt Kalmár pointed out in relation to former European games held in Miskolc that EUG is a recognition of the work that has been invested in university sports in recent years.

László Balogh, Head of Debrecen’s Organizing Committee and Director of the UD’s Institute for Coordination of Sports Sciences, also attended the press event and expressed his gratitude to his colleagues in Debrecen for the high level of professionalism they have displayed in the process of organization. By referring also to the one-hundred-year-old history of university sports in Hungary, he stressed that university sport is going to come home to Debrecen and Miskolc this summer.
“We will be hosting as many as 2200 athletes and hundreds of officials in Debrecen. Our most important task is to ensure that they should be able to return home safe and sound, because a lot of people will be paying attention to what we do,” said László Balogh, who was pleased to note that the University of Debrecen would also be represented by 137 athletes, which is a remarkably large number.

In all but two of the 17 sports disciplines (beach volleyball and beach handball), there will be student competitors from Debrecen. The largest contingent will be the men's football team (22), while in 3x3 basketball, same as in last year's EUC, both men's and women's teams will be competing for the university continental title.

Debrecen will host 3x3 basketball, futsal, football, handball, beach handball, badminton and table tennis (as well as para table tennis), while Miskolc will be the scene for basketball, volleyball, water polo, tennis, karate, judo, taekwondo, kickboxing, beach volleyball and chess.

The European University Games are only a little bit more than a month away. The opening ceremony will take place in Miskolc on July 12, while the closing ceremony will be held in Debrecen on July 24. As is the case at other major world sports events, the competitions will start somewhat earlier. On July 10, the EUG will be kicking off with futsal in Debrecen and volleyball and chess in Miskolc.

The official mascot of the Games, called DEMI, was also officially introduced at the press event on Monday. Unbeknownst to many, lynx(es) are indigenous predators in Hungary. They are a cat species the specimens of which are athletic, fast, playful, smart and highly adaptable. These qualities also characterize the best university athletes, which is why the games’ mascot this time will be a lynx. In reference to the joint EUG event of Debrecen and Miskolc, the name of the figure of the games was created from the first syllables of the names of the two cities. Thus, the 2024 EUG mascot bears the name DEMI.

This playful lynx figure will appear in a lot of places during the competition, constantly hunting for the best moments and experiences, while bringing smiles to the faces of the participants.

Press Centre – PKZs