Mate GVELESIANI awarded with the EFPM Fair Play Award at EYOF

Mr Mate GVELESIANI from Georgia was awarded with the EFPM Fair Play Award at the closing Ceremony of EYOF Maribor 2023. Additionally, he was also honoured as a flag bearer for Georgia.

This is his story, which convinced the Awarding Commission:

“Croatian athlete Luka Katič won the semifinal but was forced to give up the fight in the final due to an injury. The Georgian Mate GVELESIANI previously registered four victories. Mate took the gold because Luka was unable to participate.

At the awarding ceremony of the Judo event, the audience witnessed a demonstration of great sportsmanship, friendship and Fair Play Spirit by the winner of the category – 66 kg, Mr Mate GVELESIANI from Georgia.

During the protocol of the awarding ceremony, he noticed that silver medallist KATIC Luka/ CRO was injured, could not move and had difficulties coming to the podium. Without hesitation Mate G. reacted, reached to Mr Katić and singlehanded carried him to the podium throughout the whole sport hall to be able to receive a silver medal. And he repeats the process afterwards and assists him back.

With athletes like that we don’t have to worry about a great future of sport and society. This act of compassion and assistance to the opponent from another team was recognised as a cordial example of a Fair Play and friendship beyond expected sport ethics.”