STA, 2 January 2019 - The Ljubljana city is aiming to increase the share of the population who take regular exercise to 75% by 2028 by offering a wide selection of subsidised sports activities for all groups of residents.
The city authorities say they will allocate about EUR 897,000 annually over the next three years to involve socially excluded, overfed and physically unfit children in sports as a leisure activity.
Children will be offered a choice of sport activities at their schools free of charge, along with several programmes of activities throughout the year.
Those include skating and cross-country running for kindergarten children, sport as play for children from first to sixth grade of primary school, and sports activities for older primary school children.
Children can learn various activities from cycling to playing golf, and the city also finances tournaments for primary school children.
While most of the activities are voluntary, all children in the first, third and six grades of primary school have to take mandatory swimming courses as part of the school curricula.
Sports associations are required to offer free training for socially deprived children.
The city would like to increase the share of residents who do sport at least twice a week to 75% by 2028, raising the share by 2% a year among adults and involving 10% more senior citizens in tutored exercise.
As part of the efforts the city is planning to hold 30 mass recreational events a year, and put in place standard equipment at outdoor fitness and street training areas and outdoor sports courts.
The city will allocate more than EUR 19 million for sports this year and almost EUR 25 million next year.
STA, 29 December 2019 - Slovenian cross-country skier Anamarija Lampič dominated the World Cup freestyle sprint event in Lenzerheide, Switzerland on Sunday, the second World Cup win in the 24-year-old's career.
Lampič beat the Norwegian Maiken Caspersen Falla by just 0.03 seconds, with the Russian Natalia Nepryaeva coming in third.
The Lenzerheide sprint was the second event of the Tour de Ski series, the highlight of the World Cup season, which ends on 5 February.
Lampič's only previous World Cup victory came in February 2017.
STA, 22 December 2019 - Slovenian alpine skier Žan Kranjec bagged his second podium finish in giant slalom World Cup this season on Sunday, finishing third in Italy's Alta Badia. This is the sixth World Cup podium finish in his career.
Norway's Henrik Kristoffersen finished first today, winning 0.31 seconds over surprise podium, Cyprien Sarrazin from France, who was 22nd after the first run. Kranjec finished 0.39 seconds off of Kristoffersen.
This is the second podium finish for Kranjc this season after he won bronze in the season opening race in Austria's Sölden at the end of October. In the second World Cup event this season, in Beaver Creek at the beginning of the month, he was fourth.
After today's result, Kranjc has 170 points in the World Cup giant slalom overall, which puts him on the second place behind only Kristoffersen, who is 23 points ahead
STA, 22 December 2019 - Slovenian ski jumper Peter Prevc finished second at a World Cup event in Engelberg, Switzerland, on Sunday in what is his first podium result this winter.
"I'm very happy today. I managed to show good jumps at the race. I proved what I've been saying for a while: that I can make it to the podium," Prevc said.
Ryoyu Kobayashi is the winner of the last World Cup race ahead of the 68th Four Hills Tournament, and Austrian Jan Hörl was third.
Four other Slovenians made it to the finals in very unstable weather today: Anže Lanišek finished 14th, Rok Justin was 16th, Domen Prevc 19th and Tilen Bartol 30th.
Anže Semenič and Timi Zajc failed to qualify.
The next stop for ski jumpers is Oberstdorf on 28 December.
STA, 17 December - Cyclist Primož Roglič, sport climber Janja Garnbret and the men's national volleyball team are the winners of the main awards conferred by the Association of Sports Journalists as the 2019 Athlete of the Year ceremony was held in Ljubljana on Tuesday evening.
Roglič, who entered the world elite this year by finishing 3rd overall at the Giro d'Italia and winning the Vuelta a Espana to become the first Slovenian ever to win a Grand Tour race, scored 272 points from 105 Slovenian sport journalists.
All our stories on Roglič can be found here
He finished ahead of last year's winner of the Athlete of the Year award for men, basketball player Luka Dončić. The NBA Rookie of the Year received 200 points, while third place went to world motocross champion Tim Gajser (106).
The association noted that "in the fourth season among the elite, [Roglič] only upgraded his previous achievements" and ended the season as the first-ranked cyclist in the prestigious ProCyclingStats (PCS) raking.
Garnbret defended last year's title of the Athlete of the Year among women, winning 269 points ahead of Alpine skier Ilka Štuhec (208), the world downhill champion, and world slalom canoe champion Eva Terčelj (78).
In August, Garnbret won gold medals in bouldering, lead and the combined at the IFSC Climbing World Championships in Japan to become the first ever climber to complete a hat trick in a single championship.
"A majority of her achievements, which have already made history, come with a note that she was the first or youngest to make them," the sports journalist association said about the 20-year-old.
All our stories on Garnbret can be found here
In line with expectations, the Slovenian men's national volleyball team was declared the best team this year, winning 95 out of the possible 105 votes. The award comes after they won silver at the European Championships in September, co-hosted by Ljubljana.
"With their performances, they again unified the Slovenian nation by filling up the Stožice Arena and kept sport lovers in front of their television screens," the association said about the improbable run made by the volleyball players.
The most promising young athlete is tennis player Kaja Juvan, who played in the second round of Wimbledon and peaked at No. 106 in the WTA rankings this season. "The goals in the coming season are much higher," the association said.
Biathlete Alex Cisar won the fair play award for his display of sportsmanship in a Slovenian Cup race in Pokljuka. He gave fellow competitor Tilen Gregorka his ski stick after Gregorka lost one of his own in a collision with Cisar.
It was a story that seemed to originate in the African football media, and then bounced back to Slovenia and beyond, but the man at the centre of it all, Donatus Edafe, has now dismissed reports that he was fired from ND Gorica for getting the daughter of the club's president pregnant.
Speaking to brila.net, a Nigerian-based sports site, the 26-year old attacker is quoted as follows:
Thank you for contacting me, I don’t know where the story emanated from. I was shocked when I read the report where they said I impregnated my former president daughter, I left Nova Gorica in 2018 and returned to Nigeria at the end of my contract. I can assure you that all is fine between me and the Club, and the president has no daughter. The story is completely false and it must be discouraged.
Update - this story appears to be false, with more details here
Ghana Web reports that an unnamed Nigerian football player at an also unnamed Slovenian club has been fired six months’ after joining the team for getting the daughter of the club’s President pregnant. According to the story, four Nigerians currently play in Slovenia: Bede Osuji (ND Gorica), Temitope Nelson (NŠ Drava Ptuj), Gerald Chiyoke (team unknown) and Sulaiman Adedoja (team unknown).
The player has now returned to Nigeria, fearing public opinion in Slovenia, and is considering contacting FIFA to register a formal complaint at being fired for a personal matter. He is quoted as follows in the story:
The club got to know [that my girlfriend was pregnant] and summoned me for a meeting. I got there and admitted that I am responsible for the pregnancy and I was told to stay at home and not to be seen around the club premises until I am instructed to return.
A week later I was called to the office and told that my agent has been informed about their plans to terminate my contract for gross misconduct and indiscipline.
Now I don't know what will happen to her and the child since I'm back in Nigeria. They have forced her to block me on all social media platforms so we have not been communicating. The few friends I made at the club are also scared of speaking to me about her apparently they don't want to run into trouble with the team. I'm confused right now.
STA, 6 December 2019 - Luka Dončić has been named Sports Illustrated's 2019 Breakout of the Year in what is only the latest in a series of titles won by the 20-year-old Slovenian NBA superstar.
"Each year, sports fans witness a performance that someday we'll look back on as the moment that a star was born," which is the "spirit of achievement and arrival" that the American sports magazine honours.
The Breakout of the Year title winners in recent years been US NFL footballer Alvin Kamara, Cameroon basketball player Joel Embiid and Puerto Rican baseball player Francisco Lindor.
The Dallas Mavericks small forward, who made his debut in the US National Basketball Association (NBA) in 2018, was named NBA player of the month for October and November.
He also holds the record for the most triple-doubles by a player before his 21st birthday in NBA history and currently leads the NBA in triple-doubles.
After 19 games this season Dončić ranks third in the league in scoring (30.6 points), second in assists per game (9.6) and 15th in rebounding (9.9 rebounds per game).
Sports Illustrated will present the Breakout of the Year honour at its Sportsperson of the Year event in New York on 9 December.
STA, 28 November 2019 - Slovenian Damir Skomina has been declared the world's best football referee in 2019 by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS). He was selected by football experts from 90 countries in the world.
Skomina, who was also the first Slovenian referee to officiate a UEFA Champions League final between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool in Madrid on 1 June, thus became the 19th holder of the title that is being conferred since 1987.
The 43-year-old scored 136 points in the vote, with the second-placed, German Felix Brych, who held the title in 2017, scoring 129 points. Skomina took the title for the first time.
According to the IFFHS, Skomina has put on a consistent showing throughout the season. He has so far officiated more than 530 matches, including 301 Slovenian national league matches, 50 Champions League matches, 17 European League matches, 60 international UEFA matches, a world championship match and an Olympic tournament.
The IFFHS also picked the best goalkeeper of 2019, with Slovenia's Jan Oblak placing third, behind Brazilian Alisson in first and German Marc-Andre ter Stegen of Barcelona in second place.
Oblak from Madrid's Atletico has been in the top three best goalkeepers in the last three seasons.
STA, 24 November 2019 - Slovenia's Anže Lanišek placed second after Norway's Daniel Andre Tande at the first individual event of the new, 41st Ski Jumping World Cup season in Poland's Wisla on Sunday. The first World Cup podium result for the 23-year-old comes only a day after the Slovenian team placed fourth in the team event.
Lanišek, whom head coach Gorazd Bertoncelj had mentioned as one of the Slovenian favourites this season, said he had not expected to finish among the top three at the season opener.
"I'm very happy. I've been waiting for four years to finally get to the podium. I didn't think this would happen as early as Wisla.
"I'm quite satisfied although my jumps are not yet at the right level," said Lanišek, whom his friends have nicknamed "frog".
Placing third was Poland's Kamil Stoch, while the defending World Cup winner Ryoyu Kobayashi of Japan placed fourth.
Lanišek's success was rounded off by Timi Zajc, who placed sixth; his 134-metre jump was the longest in the second series.
Peter Prevc placed 15th, Domen Prevc 23rd, Rok Justin 27th and Tilen Bartol 29th.
On Saturday, the Slovenian team - Anže Lanišek, Anže Semenič, Timi Zajc and Peter Prevc - placed fourth after securing third place in series one.
Bertoncelj is very happy with both season openers, saying the boys did a really good job.
"I'm happy we don't have only one good individual, but several good ones, a good team as a whole," he said after today's event.
STA, 19 November 2019 - Slovenian basketball star Luka Dončić continues to break new ground in the NBA, having set a new Slovenian record in points scored. The 20-year-old passed Goran Dragić (40) on Monday evening by scoring 42 points in a win of his Dallas Mavericks against the Texas rival San Antonio Spurs.
In the 117:110 win for the Mavericks, Dončić also added 12 assists and 11 rebounds for what is already his sixth triple-double early in the new season.
Playing in his second year in the best basketball league in the world, the Slovenian became the second-youngest NBA player with a 40-point triple-double, trailing only LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Dončić and James are the only players in the history of the league to manage the feat before turning 21.
By scoring 42 points, Dončić set a new Slovenian record for points, overtaking Goran Dragić and his career-high 40 points scored in February 2014, when he played for the Phoenix Suns.
Speaking to a reporter after the match, Dončić said that the "match was special, it's a rivalry", referring to the San Antonio Spurs, adding that "we always want to win every such game."
He said he had a dream during a pre-game nap that he would score 16 points in the first quarter. "And then I scored 17, so dreams don't come true," he said jokingly, while giving his teammates the credit for the win.
ESPN meanwhile quoted Mavericks head coach Rick Carlisle as saying that "this guy can do anything he wants to on a basketball court. He's having one of those magical runs right now. It's a phenomenal thing to watch."
Dončić is actually almost averaging a triple-double in the first 12 games of the season, recording 28.5 points, 10.7 rebounds and 9.1 assists per game, for a player efficiency rating (PER) of 30.05, in which he is 4th in the league.