Zagreb, November 13, 2015 – Active participation of Athletes' Commission in the work of federations and National Olympic Committee will enable the athletes' voice to be heard - says one of the conclusions brought at today's session of Athletes' Commission of the Croatian Olympic Committee. The President Sandra Mandin and members Marin Čilić, Natko Zrnčić Dim, Ištvan Varga, Zlatko Horvat, Snježana Pejčić and Ana Marija Bujas Čelan have given a great contribution to the work of the Commission.
The athletes have thus supported the Croatian Olympic Committee's point of view that each national sports federation must have its Athletes' Commission and that the athletes' representative shall be a member of the federation's Executive Committee and Assembly as well, which was also recommended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Namely, as explained by the Assistant Secretary General of the Croatian Olympic Committee and Olympian Biserka Vrbek, both the national sports federations and Olympic Committee are required to adjust their Statutes in accordance with the amendments to the Law on Associations. Furthermore, the Croatian Olympic Committee recommends the Statute to contain provisions on the existence of the Athletes' Commission.
Members of the Athletes' Commission of the Croatian Olympic Committee have also concluded that it is necessary to have an office within the Croatian Olympic Committee that would deal with athletes' status issues. That is, there should be a person who would represent a point of reference for athletes in relation to any area of interest - scholarships, categorization of athletes, rights and obligations, various educational programs, etc.
Concerning the education of athletes, a constructive discussion was initiated after Romana Caput Jogunica presented the Croatian Olympic Committee's national program for development of dual-career (Career Program), designed for athletes during and after their active career. In achieving the athletes' dual careers, the understanding of the higher education institutions is very important due to the sports obligations of every athlete. Therefore, the co-operation with the Croatian Rectors' Conference of higher education institutions has been initiated and the preparation of proposal on minimum criteria for athletes - students in higher education system is in the process. Zlatko Horvat, Ištvan Varga and Natko Zrnčić Dim expressed their experiences. Ištvan said that it took him several years to finish the university because he was always facing the same problem "school or dancing". He feared that choosing the education would not allow him to dedicate to sports at the desired level. If at that time there was a dual career program, it would significantly facilitate his education, considers Ištvan. Natko Zrnčić Dim has had the same experience. Unfortunately, at one point he had to make the decision to give up on the university and dedicate himself to skiing. Zlatko Horvat, student of the High School for Sports Management "Aspira", has - thanks to the agreement between the Croatian Olympic Committee and Aspira – less difficulties in adjusting the obligations of professional athlete, student and family obligations, thanks to e-studying. The Athletes' Commission wishes to provide to each athlete the information on specific studying conditions. This way, the athletes will never find themselves in the situation that requires choosing between sports and education. (hoo/yy).