Tuesday, 16 April 2024
An Evening with Luka Modric: A Magical Encounter in Zadar Marin Cilic Foundation

An Evening with Luka Modric: A Magical Encounter in Zadar

Written by  Gillie Sutherland Jul 18, 2023

It was 6pm on a Monday evening in the middle of a heatwave.

It was still 30 degrees outside and there wasn’t going to be much that was going to inspire me to leave my nice, chilled apartment to get into my car tonight.

I could just walk down to the sea at sunset, take a dip to cool off, and that was rather more appealing than driving into town.

It just took one little thing.

Albeit one magical, brilliant, awe-inspiring little thing - a living legend, a wizard, perhaps the most famous living Croatian, a National hero, a Worldwide footballing sensation.

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He was here, in Zadar, and I couldn’t miss this moment.

To whom am I referring, you may ask.

Who else, but Mr Luka Modric?

The best things come in small packages 

They say all the best things in life come in small packages and this little Maestro is living proof of this.

I’d heard rumours that he would be here for the Gem Set Hrvatska event put on by the Marin Cilic Foundation, but I’m not sure I could quite take it in that it was possible to go and see him in the flesh.

But it was true, and I couldn’t just let this opportunity pass me by.

I wasn’t in the greatest of moods. I was still recovering from the 5 hour stress marathon watching the final of Wimbledon the day before and watching my other hero lose to someone 16 years younger.

Tennis was not my favourite subject on this particular day, nor was it a day to be outdoors until sunset and it cooled off enough to not take have to take a cold shower or dip in the sea on every hour.

But I dragged my sorry ass out into the heat nonetheless.

This turned out to be a great decision.

The atmosphere at the event was pure love and joy.

All the local kids were involved, sports stars from all over Croatia, with the common goal of encouraging children to follow their dreams, whether in sport or any other passion they may have.

“The Marin Cilic Foundation is rooted in the belief that every child has boundless potential. With adequate support, hard work and strong self-esteem, every child can make a lasting impact on the world.

Through education, sport and encouragement programs, the Foundation seeks to provide children and youth with the space and financial support to explore their passions and turn their dreams into reality”.

Positive energy all round 

I’m loving this. Just what this world needs right now.

The positive energy in the Visnijk stadium is infectious. I’m literally jumping up and down like a little kid, not just because one of my heroes is there, but I see the kids, teams of ball boys and girls, so proud, so engaged, so happy, I have renewed faith that there is so much good happening in the world right now that we don’t know about.

Community and celebrity-led projects like this are happening right here in our neighbourhoods, bringing people together with a common purpose that is going to bring about positive change in the world.

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And who better to inspire this next generation of sports superstars than those that have been there and done it, even when they’ve been faced with huge adversity, like in the case of Modric, who spent much of his youth here in Zadar as a war refugee.

When I see him holding his tennis racket which is almost as big as him, but with a grin as big as the ocean, my heart is literally melting.

I’m in the presence of brilliance, and I can feel his energy from across the stadium. As he gets closer, it’s even more powerful, and I’m buzzing.

Of course, he is swamped with people wanting autographs and a selfie, so I stand back, not to overwhelm him further, fighting the urge to run over and hug him.

He’s so tiny, yet he has a strength in him that only comes when you’ve had to overcome major challenges.

I think of a card that one of my mentors sent to me the other day. It said on it: “ A Smooth Sea Never Made A Skilful Sailor”.

When it comes to skill, it doesn’t much better than this guy.

What an inspiration, what an evening, what good there still is in the World.

Read more Gillie here...


About The Author:

Gillie Sutherland grew up in the Lake District on the border between England and Scotland, but has now made Croatia her home. As well having her own online yoga and well-being business, Gillie plays an active role in the International Community here in Croatia, running events, activities and holidays. She is passionate about nature, wellness and adventure, swimming in the sea all year round and spending weekends hiking.

Social Media Links:

Website: www.ko-fi.com/gilliesutherland

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/wild-with-gillie

Instagram: www.instagram.com/gilliesutherland

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