Borna Ćorić: "Support for young people should always be provided without any hold back!"
Tennis player Borna Ćorić and Paralympians Nataša Sobočan and Deni Černi join UNICEF's Milky Way Race
Zagreb, 17 August 2022 – Less than a month left until the start of UNICEF's humanitarian Milky Way Race! This year the race will support a mental health program for children and young people in schools. Tennis player Borna Ćorić and Paralympians Nataša Sobočan and Deni Černi joined the already almost 4,000 registered participants. During their sport careers, they became aware of the importance of support, and share their experiences to encourage conversation about the importance of mental health.
“In primary school, it was difficult for me to balance tennis and school duties. The support and understanding I received from my teachers at that time helped me to successfully complete my school obligations without my tennis development suffering. The support of my family was extremely important to me, and it still is today. The sacrifice my parents made so that I could play tennis at the highest world level was of incredible importance and I am very grateful to them as well as to my sister, who are my daily support. I think it is important to talk about topics which are considered 'taboo', especially when it comes to something that affects people's lives. I play an individual sport that requires high mental and emotional efforts, and I am all the more aware of how important mental health is for every person. I want to tell young people that hard work always pays off in the end. I myself recently went through a difficult period when, due to a serious shoulder injury, I did not know if I would ever be able to play at the highest level again, and it was extremely difficult for me because tennis is my life. With the support of the people around me and the great effort I put into returning to the tennis courts every day, I managed to overcome it. I support the Milky Way Race because I think that children are the world's greatest treasure and the future of our planet. Young people should always be given unreserved support”, tennis player Borna Ćorić, who has been supporting the Milky Way for the third year in a row, said.
Paralympian Deni Černi is joining the Milky Way Race for the second consecutive year, and here's what he had to say about the importance of supporting mental health: “I think mental health is very important because it affects the way we think, feel and act. From my own experience, I can testify that the support of family, friends and the environment meant a lot to me in moments when I was having a hard time or when I felt insecure. That is why it is important to talk about the mental health of children and young people. It is important that everyone receives support, that everyone feels accepted and happy. I am proud to have the opportunity and pleasure to invite again everyone to get involved and support this year's UNICEF Milky Way Race. Support the mental health of children and young people and take part in the race!”
UNICEF's friend, Paralympian Nataša Sobočan, who is also aware of the importance of support that family and people from your proximity can provide, has been supporting the Milky Way Race for years.
“Mental health is very important, especially for children and young people. It's still not talked about enough. I think that children and young people still do not know who they can turn to and how to help themselves. Many children and young people have a hard time deciding to talk about what is bothering them because of shame or fear of the reaction of the surroundings. Over the years, a person learns to take better care of himself and learn mechanisms to deal with some problems, so I successfully overcame depression caused by personal losses. I am calmer, happier. When I find myself in situations where I feel that I can't go on, I try to step aside and say to myself "stop, you are important, your physical and mental health is the most important thing, take a walk, do something for yourself". Above all I'm very emotional, I have a hard time dealing with injustice... However, I looked for support and started swimming. For me, that sport was my first step on a path of rehabilitation, and finally of physical and mental healing”, Nataša shared and invited everyone to join the race.
With the funds raised at the race, UNICEF will support the implementation of the support program for mental health of children and young people in schools “PoMoZi Da”, implemented by the Croatian Institute of Public Health. UNICEF will support the training and improvement of the skills of more than 400 educational workers throughout Croatia, which will have a positive direct impact on more than 20,000 primary and secondary school students. The Milky Way Race is the central event of UNICEF's campaign to support the mental health of children and young people, which aims to highlight the importance of removing the stigma around mental health that often prevents young people from seeking help.
The Milky Way Race is held under the auspices of Croatia's President Zoran Milanović, the Ministry of Science and Education and the Ministry of Health. Every year, the race includes an increasing number of corporate partners, among which stand out Kaufland Hrvatska, which has supported the Milky Way as the main sponsor since the first edition in 2017, as well as Privredna banka Zagreb and Auro Domus, and also Tisak which ensures that the start packages reach the Milky Way race participants.
Registration for the UNICEF Milky Way Race: www.mlijecnastaza.hr
UNICEF promiče prava i dobrobit djece u svemu što radimo. U suradnji s partnerima, radimo u nekima od najizazovnijih dijelova svijeta kako bismo pomogli najugroženijoj djeci na svijetu. U više od 190 država i teritorija radimo za svako dijete, s posebnim fokusom na najranjiviju djecu.