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Date: 3/24/2019

March 5 saw an historic day in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana, as the two domestic league champions – women’s side RK Krim Mercator and men’s team RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko – played each other in a charity match. It was the first time such a game had been played, with men and women represented equally in a fundraising effort organised by the Slovenian branch of EUROPA DONNA. 
EUROPA DONNA is a Europe-wide coalition that represents the interests of women with regard to breast cancer. The non-profit organisation outlines 10 goals, including the dissemination of information, promotion of awareness and advocacy of training of medical professionals, among others. 47 nations within Europe are members of the organisation.
EUROPA DONNA’s campaigns in handball began with the Slovenian men’s champions Celje in 2017, when the squad wore pink jerseys for two weeks in October – known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month in many nations around the world. Celje donned the pink jerseys for their matches during October 2018 as well, making the charity game versus Krim in early March the third time the Slovenian side have supported EUROPA DONNA’s cause in this manner. Krim also wore pink jerseys for the March 5 match.
“Social responsibility and health are our way of life at Celje Pivovarna Lasko and when possible, we always support organisations which help create a better world,” said Celje’s acting manager Sasa Lesek at the time of the first campaign in 2017.
“Europa Donna is certainly one such organisation, whom we thank for their work and congratulate them for their 20 years of work. Awareness, early diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation, and modernisation of medical equipment are their goals. We hope that as a sports club we can help them, at least a little bit.”
Celje and Krim are both the record title holders in the Slovenian domestic league, with Celje holding 22 trophies and Krim having collected 23. Both squads also play in the EHF Champions League. For the match, points for goals were allocated differently from usual, with three points for each goal by Krim and the normal rules for Celje.
The teams exchanged goalkeepers and after a half-time score of 27:17 in favour of Celje, the squads were mixed together. Naturally, the winner of the match was not the most important point of the event – the focus was on the charity itself and enjoying handball.
Photos: RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko