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“The Tale of Jug the Urchin”: VK Jug Marks 100th Anniversary with Children’s Book Launch

The Tale of Jug the Urchin 1VK Jug Adriatic Insurance is celebrating its centennial this December, and as a gift, it has received its own children’s book, “The Tale of Jug the Urchin,” published by DuList. The story about Croatia’s most successful sports collective for kids was written by DuList’s editor-in-chief, Barbara Đurasović, and illustrated by Dubrovnik artist Iris Lobaš Kukavičić. The book will be available in bookstores starting Friday, December 1st.

Author Barbara Đurasović emphasizes how for a hundred years, the water polo players of Jug have lived alongside and become a part of Dubrovnik’s identity. With an impressive 69 trophies under their belt, VK Jug Adriatic Insurance is Croatia’s most decorated team. Aware of the grand celebration planned for June 2024, marking the club’s 100th anniversary since its first match in Porto, Đurasović thought it fitting to send the club a congratulatory gift for its December birthday.

The Main Character, Jug the Urchin

The inspiration for the children’s book about Jug came from the club’s comprehensive monograph “5 to 100” by Željan Konsuo. The book covers all the facts, results, successes, trophies, and even defeats of Croatia’s most decorated team. Đurasović condensed and adapted the history and sporting achievements of the team for children. Thus, the main character of the book is an urchin narrating Jug’s story. But it’s not just a tale of the club’s numerous victories; it’s a story about love, unity, pride, effort, sacrifice, parents taking their children to the stands, accompanying them to their first practices, tradition, and the city because, as the book’s author emphasizes, all of that is Jug.

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The painter and illustrator of the book, Iris Lobaš Kukavičić, has been connected with water polo for over two decades. Her first exhibition in the early 2000s was dedicated to this sport. She decided to transform the gallery space into a pool with levitating figures whose movement evokes the game of water polo. These sculptures are now displayed at the Ruđer Bošković Airport. For Lobaš Kukavičić, a hundred years of existence for one club is no small feat. Jug is an institution of the city, and she felt a great responsibility in illustrating the club’s admirable historical moments. So many generations have passed through the club, generations of fathers and sons, each leaving behind not only impressive results but also a pride that can be felt through the adventures of Jug the Urchin, said Iris Lobaš Kukavičić.

In addition to the Croatian edition, the book is also available in English. Renowned translator and actor Filip Krenus translated the story into English. Thus, the book “The Tale of Jug the Urchin” will be available in bookstores, ensuring that the adventures of the proud centenarian reach beyond Croatia’s borders.

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