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The Union of Slovenian professional football players (SPINS) organized a campaign to raise awareness about the importance of human organ transplantation and increase the number of registered donors.

 

SPINS cooperated with two organizations: Slovenian Association Transplant (which combines the transplant patients and their loved ones) and Slovenia - Transplant (the National Institute for the transplantation of human organs and tissues).

 

Jointly, these three parties devised the nation-wide campaign Podaj Naprej (“Pass it on”). The main objectives of the campaign are to raise awareness about the importance of human organ transplantation and increase the number of registered donors, still far away of being sufficient. After all, a donated human organ or a tissue, can save another persons life or bring the person back to health.

 

Due to the fact, that football is among the most popular and influential sports in Slovenia, the idea of the campaign creators was to use all the football players of the first league, and through them spread the message of the campaign to all the fans. The project started at all the games on 12th May and continued on two more rounds more until the end of the championship, this year ending at the cup final game on May 23.

 

All the players came on the field with extra footballs in their hands, which were taped with “Pass it on” slogan stickers. After the initial protocol and the video message of the campaign, the balls were passed to the football fans at the stadiums, thereby delivering the message of the campaign. During the matches all the players, coaches, team personnel and referees also wore the above-mentioned stickers.

 

 

Around each of the game venues there were also stands with the volunteers and transplant patients of the Slovenian Association Transplant spreading the positive message of transplantation of human organs. They also distributed the special issue of SPINS XI magazine, printed out as a part of the campaign.

 

The partners of the campaign, Imelda Ogilvy Agency, produced a video commercial, which ran on almost all TV stations, and a printed ad, published in most newspapers. To further promote the campaign and football clubs, a photo-shoot took place with all the captains of the first league clubs to create campaign billboards, afterwards used on stadiums and around the country as well. Two video reports were filmed at the campaign sites as promotional videos for an in-depth view of the work done.

 

A big part of the SPINS Gala, on 14th of May, at the Grand Hotel Union in Ljubljana, was dedicated to the Pass it on campaign as well. As an icing on the cake, an event hosted a performance of a special guest, one of the all time best ex Yugoslavian musicians, Arsen Dedic, himself also a two times recipient of the donor liver.

 

Dejan Stefanovic, president of SPINS, said: ‘The ”Pass it on” campaign is one of the most notable humanitarian projects in a young Slovenian sport history and will be continued in the future in several different forms. Slovenian footballers really hope, that this kind of campaigns will no longer be isolated cases, but sooner or later, a matter of everyday life of every football club.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

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