The winners of the Croatian Olympic Committee's highest award, the award Matija Ljubek for lifetime achievement in sports for 2015, are: Erna Hawelka Rađenović, Olympian, top Croatian athlete and sports official from Zagreb, Romano Bajlo, Olympian, top Croatian rower and rowing coach from Zadar, Ante Nakić, top water polo coach from Šibenik, Ivan Kralj, athlete and experienced sports official for field hockey from Sv. Ivan Zelina and GNK (Civil football club) Dinamo for football school established in December 1957.
Erna Hawelka Rađenović, Olympian, top Croatian athlete and sports official is B.Sc. in Biology and gymnastics coach. Erna was actively engaged in skiing, choreography of theater plays, especially opera and journalism, writing as external associate (subcontractor) for the daily newspaper Sportske Novosti.
As an athlete, Erna Hawelka Rađenović participated at the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972. She has participated at numerous World and European championships, World Cups, Mediterranean Games and many other international tournaments. She has founded the Gymnastic Club "Novi Zagreb" in which she coaches today the young generation of gymnasts. Besides serving as a judge, she was also the President of the Zagreb Gymnastics Association and member of the Supervisory Board of the Croatian Gymnastics Federation.
Erna was a member of the Organizing Committee of the VIII. Mediterranean Games in Split in 1979 and choreographer of one of the numbers within the opening ceremony program and member of the Organizing Committee of the World Gymnastics Cup in 1982 in Zagreb and the Universiade in 1987 in Zagreb. For 25 years of active work in gymnastics, in 1989 she has received the Award of the City of Zagreb. In 2009, Erna Hawelka Rađenović has received the Annual State Award for Sport "Franjo Bučar", and in 2013 the award "Franjo Bučar" for lifetime achievement.
Romano Bajlo, Olympian, top Croatian rower and rowing coach from Zadar, B. Sc. In Physical Education and rowing coach, Romano was also a member of the rowing club Jadran from Zadar. He participated at the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972 and at several World Championships in rowing. Bajlo was six times Champion of Yugoslavia and four times Vice-Champion.
Romano Bajlo worked as a coach in the Yugoslavian Rowing Federation and Croatian Rowing Federation. At the Olympics in Barcelona in 1992, he served as director of the Croatian National Rowing Team. Under his leadership, the Croatian rowers have won numerous medals at World and European Championships and Mediterranean Games. The Croatian rowers, over 400 of them, have won 174 titles in various categories and disciplines, from cadets to seniors, at the Championships of the former state and at the Croatian ones. Thanks to his work, over 6000 children from Zadar attended the sailing school of the Rowing Club Jadran.
For his work in sports, he has received numerous sports recognition, such as the Coat of arms of the City of Zadar in 1993, the Award of the City of Zadar in 1968 and 1996, the Lifetime Achievement Award of the City of Zadar in 2012, as well as many other recognitions in the field of Croatian rowing.
Ante Nakić, top water polo coach from Šibenik, is a LLB and water polo coach. This excellent water polo coach of international reputation for full 44 years started his coaching career as a coach in the Water Polo Club Šibenik. He was the coach in water polo clubs Solaris from Šibenik, Biograd from Biograd and Brodograditelj from Betina (Croatia), as well as in Olympiacos, Chios, Glyfada, Halkida (Greece) and Quadis Al Khobar (Saudi Arabia)
He served as official of the Yugoslav, Greek, Iranian and Slovak national team. With the Greek national team, he participated at the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992. With national teams, he participated at many World and European Championships in both senior and junior competitions, at the Mediterranean Games, FINA Cup, Asian, Islamic and Balkan Games, winning numerous medals. In 1991, the Croatian Olympic Committee proclaimed him one of the 59 ambassadors of the young Croatian state, Croatian sports and Croatian Olympic Committee.
Ivan Kralj, former athlete, is an experienced sports official and international judge in field hockey from Sv. Ivan Zelina and LLB. He is the founder of the Hockey Club Zelina and its Honorary President. By establishing the club for which he was playing in his youth as a goalkeeper, many generations got the opportunity to practice this sport. In addition, he gave a great contribution to the establishment of tennis and bowling club, providing thus new perspectives to the young generations of the city of Sveti Ivan Zelina.
In his very successful sports career, he was holder of multiple offices, from Secretary and member of the executive bodies of the national hockey organizations up to the organizational bodies of international events, such as the VIII. Mediterranean Games in Split in 1979. Ivan Kralj has left a great mark in the journalistic work as well, diligently collecting and preserving the archives of the Hockey Club Zelina as his contribution to the study of sports history of the Croatian sports. In 1980, Ivan Kralj was presented the Order of the Republic award with a bronze wreath for his merits in sports.
Civil Football Club Dinamo (GNK Dinamo) - Football School
Football school of the GNK Dinamo was established in December 1957, and up to the present day it has presented the world many top names of the world football, such as national football team players Zlatko Kranjčar, Velimir Zajec, Josip Kuže, Marijan Vlak, Niko Kranjčar, Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovačić, Dejan Lovren, Vedran Ćorluka, Eduardo de Silva, Tin Jedvaj, Alen Halilović....
This football schools played a key role in development of the large Dinamo teams in the 80’s and 2000s. Moreover, since its very establishment, the school continuously – on a daily basis – educates hundreds of children, under the guidance of successful coaches and former national football team players including notable names of the Croatian football: Milan Antolković, Marijan Vlak, Mirko Bazić, Stjepan Lamza, Krasnodar Rora, Ilija Lončarević, Marko Mlinarić and others.
One of the great successes of the generations that attended Dinamo’s football school was the victory at the World Championship of young teams in Chile in 1987, which created the basis for great success of the Croatian National Football Team, such as winning the bronze medal at the World Cup in France in 1998.
Today, the GNK Dinamo football school has 11 teams in constant competitions of several age groups. The school has 220 registered players and 200 members of the open schools for children aged 5-12 years. Moreover, there are 37 coaches of different specializations working with talented young football players and children.