Returning Hope to the city of Sarajevo
In October 1995 at a dinner at the RCT Barcelona-1899, the mayor of the City of Barcelona, Mr. Pascual Maragall, asked the President at that time of the Real Club de Tenis Barcelona-1899 to create a Tennis Tournament at the city of Sarajevo to give hope to the youth of Sarajevo (after the war). The Town Hall created then the XI District of the City of Barcelona under the direction of Teresa Sandoval. This project took care of helping managing the City of Sarajevo after the war and helped out in its reconstruction.
The Catalan Tennis Federation and the journalist Carlos Bosch were a key point in setting out the project. An expedition with sports material was prepared and sent out, thanks to the generous contribution of the sports firms of the City of Barcelona.
In 1997 the “1 Tournament (-16) Open RCTB-1899-Sarajevo” took place on the surroundings (the inside of the city was still destroyed) of the city of Sarajevo. Mr. Albert Batlle, deputy of Sports of the City of Barcelona at the time, Mr. Josep Ferrer Peris, President of the Catalan Tennis Federation at the time and Mr. Juan Mª Tintoré, President of the RCTB-1899 at the time attended the competition.
The Competition has always been really well organized and the facilities have been really well taken care of. Since the year 2001 the Tournament is on the Tennis Europe International Calendar. The participation has been increasing every year and this year 2010, 12 nations have taken part with more than 100 participants, with very good quality of players.
The local authorities and the Minister of Sports and Culture have always helped in developing a good image of the city and supporting the youth.
The work done by Mr. Juan Mª Tintoré has been recognized in different occasions with the award of the Medal of the City of Sarajevo, 2004, the International Humanist Diploma - 2005, in May 2006 and recently the Citizen of Honour of Sarajevo.
Mr. Juan Mª Tintoré has travelled 21 times to the City of Sarajevo and in different occasions has travelled with Mr. Juan Antonio Samaranch, Mr. Pascual Maragall, Mr. Joan Clos, Mr. Jan Laporta, Mr. John James, etc..
Sarajevo is slowly recovering from the war , that reduced the population from 600,000.-inhabitants to 250,000.-. Nowadays, 15 years after the war, the population has recovered to 400,000.-inhabitants. The reconstruction of the city is almost finished and the economical activity and the investments are almost back in place.