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MIRZA HRUSTEMOVIC (BIH)               BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA MEN

'I was born in 1959 and for the first two years of my life I was challenged with recovering from polio.  I was with my peers with paraplegia, so mainly in the company of other people who had the same problems.

 

As a young boy I felt a new momentum to fight for my rights,  so I participated in all competitions at schools.  Looking back now, I think it was a combination of genetics and my tremendous love for sport.

 

Sitting volleyball has been in my town since 1982, and since then I have fallen in love with the sport.  It is here that started what people today recognise as the national team of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 

Since then begins a great success in sitting volleyball within our country.  With the clubs that have grown, they were three times champions in the former Yugoslavia, and I was a member of that team.

 

I believe that the war conditions we have experienced, have developed a number of other skills that have helped us with the development of sitting volleyball, for me both as a player and as a coach.

 

I remember training during the war, when we did not want to go home, and we just stayed in the hall and played sitting volleyball.   It was the start of a great love that continues today.

 

Our greatest successes in sitting volleyball started after the founding of club Speed where disabled people have the opportunity to train and compete in athletics, shooting, sitting volleyball and table tennis.  I was the club's President Disability and tried to find the best conditions for club members and all selections.

 

It was a great experience for me and a big advantage over the others, and that helped me a lot in building the success of the national team in sitting volleyball.

 

Advice that I can give coaches: Trainers who want to grow with their team, must have experience in the field. To me this is a great advantage,  After that must be individual work with each player on their own performance.

 

Always work with good intentions, be stable and command confidence of players, this is very important.  Be aware of everyday problems, social status, and have a good positive charisma.

 

One team, like the national team, needs to put together a mosaic of those who in a given moment can respond to challenges, of course, not all who offer the same quality.  All players in the national team are valuable as gold and any player can not be renounced.

 

All of this is very complex and requires a lot of time, but in end it is always worthwhile.'

 

Translated by: Senad Helač

Mirza HRUSTEMOVIĆ