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#LEGENDSFOREVER SUZANA SKOKO

Suzana Skoko svoju formulu za sportski uspjeh uspješno je prekopirala na drugu karijeru. Nekad reprezentativka u streljaštvu, danas glavna tajnica Hrvatskog streljačkog saveza.

Za vrijeme svoje športske karijere bila je hrvatska reprezentativka u streljaštvu više od 10 godina, sveukupno se bavila streljaštvom 16 godina. Bila je svjetska juniorska rekorderka i europska prvakinja na zračnoj pušci. Nastupila je na dvjema olimpijskim igrama 1992. i 1996., u Barceloni 1992. zauzela je 5. mjesto u disciplini 3×20 hitaca, malokalibarska puška.

Na europskom prvenstvu 1993. osvojila je srebrnu medalju u zračnoj pušci a 1997. srebrnu medalju u malokalibarskoj pušci 60 hitaca ležeći te od 1989. do 2001. pregršt ekipnih medalja. Na svjetskim kupovima osvajala je medalje od brončane do zlatne, a na svjetskom prvenstvu bila članicom svjetskih juniorskih prvakinja. Na Mediteranskim igrama 1991. godine osvojila je zlatnu medalju zračna puška, 1993. godine srebrnu medalju malokalibarska puška; 1997. godine zlatnu medalju malokalibarska puška.

Proglašena je najboljom sportašicom Hrvatske 1993. godine te je iste godine primila i državnu nagradu za sport Franjo Bučar.

Kada ste se odlučili za prekid sportske karijere?

2001. godine je došlo vrijeme da se pozdravim sa svojom sportskom karijerom jer sam imala neke druge interese. Nažalost u to vrijeme sportaši u takozvanim manjim sportovima kao što je streljaštvo nisu bili financijski popraćeni kao sada. Danas naši sportaši imaju ugovore s Ministarstvom obrane i slobodno se mogu baviti onim što je najbitnije za sport, a to je treniranje i nastupanje na natjecanjima.

Kako ste se odlučili za fakultet ?

Upisala sam Ekonomski fakultet 1989. godine no prekinula sam na drugoj godini jer sam tada bila baš u periodu najvećeg sportskog uspona, intenzivno sam trenirala i nisam uspjela uskladiti sve obveze. Nakon što sam završila sa sportskom karijerom upisala sam Veleučilište Vern koje sam završila 2004. godine.

Što ste radili nakon prestanka sportske karijere?

Nakon sporta radila sam skoro sedam godina u poduzeću Croata gdje sam dogurala do pozicije Export managera. Zatim sam u dvije tvrtke u tekstilnoj branši radila kao direktor prodaje. Nakon toga sam prešla na građevinu i nekretnine, gdje sam bila operativni direktor i direktor prodaje. Zadnjih pet godina, prije nego što sam počela raditi u Hrvatskom streljačkom savezu, radila kao regionalni direktor za jednu medijsku kuću iz Belgije koja se bavila produkcijom ekonomsko investicijskih izvještaja za zemlje u razvoju. To su bili promotivni izvještaji u obliku filmova od sat vremena i publikacija koji su se prezentirali u razvijenim zemljama u svrhu privlačenja investitora u zemlje u razvoju. Radila sam u Aziji, Africi Europi…

Što s gledišta sportaša mislite o obrazovnom sustavu u Hrvatskoj?

Smatram da naš obrazovni sustav općenito nije dovoljno prilagođen sportašima. U Americi imate čitave gradove koji su prilagođeni onima koji iskazuju nekakav talent ili su dobri u nekom sportu. Na takve osobe ne radi se pritisak da moraju biti doktori znanosti već se ide u smjeru iskorištavanja njihovog talenta. Po meni obrazovni sustav bi trebao pomagati mladim ljudima u sportu da uz sport pronađu i dodatno obogate one stvari koje im idu kako bi na kraju mogli spojiti sport s drugom karijerom.

U moje vrijeme nije bilo toliko govora niti razmišljanja što će biti sa sportašima nakon sporta, svi su se nekako morali sami snaći. Danas se više razgovara o dual karijerama i uvele su se športske škole i športski razredi, tako da moram reći da se neke stvari jesu napravile, ali to još uvijek nije dovoljno. Smatram da kao jedna zemlja koja je genetski i prirodno nadarena za sport moramo to puno više iskoristiti, a to prvenstveno kroz usklađenje sustava obrazovanja.

Koliko vam je život različit sada kada ste prva operativka saveza od vremena kada ste trenirali

Kada si sportaš onda si zvijezda, baviš se s onim što voliš i kada imaš s nečim problem nemaš strah to izreći jer ti si najbolji i nitko ti ne može ništa. Kada radiš onda moraš puno ljudi zadovoljiti, da to treba biti baš onako kako su si oni zamislili, a puno je ljudi u sportu koji imaju neke svoje ideje i vizije. Ja sam izabrala poslovnu karijeru, a mogla sam odabrati poslije natjecateljske karijere ostati u sportu kao trener i to bi sigurno bilo lakše jer ostaješ na nečem poznatom, ali mi vrhunski sportaši obično volimo izazove i volimo se dokazivati u nekim novim stvarima.

Koji su vam bili najveći izazovi kada ste prekinuli sportsku karijeru i započeli poslovnu?

Ja sam kao sportaš uvijek voljela imati jaku bazu, možda je bilo djevojaka koje su bile talentiranije od mene, ali ja sam uvijek više radila i trenirala i radi toga postizala uspjehe i to je ono dobro što sam izvukla iz sporta. Isto tako kada sam počela raditi krenula sam od dna, od baze, počela sam kao tajnica i imala u glavi da kada ću danas sutra biti direktor ja moram znati što tajnica radi. Takav pristup mi je pomogao da sam danas svjesna kako stvari funkcioniraju te da radim sa puno različitih ljudi koji svi imaju neke svoje ideje, želje i ciljeve.

Kako vam vaše sportsko iskustvo pomaže danas kada ste na poziciji glavne tajnice saveza?

Mislim da mi je rad u realnom sektoru puno pomogao da se nosim s mnogim zahtjevima mog današnjeg posla posebno u razumijevanju kako udruge funkcioniraju. Ali isto tako smatram da na ovu moju poziciju ne može doći netko tko nikada nije bio u sportu, koji ne razumije razmišljanja vrhunskih sportaša, potrebu odlaska na natjecanja, kako stvari funkcioniraju na pripremama, što su neke sitnice koje sportašima mogu pomoći da uspiju. Dobitna kombinacija je kada netko ima i poslovnog i reprezentativnog tj. sportskog iskustva.

Suzana Skoko successfully copied her formula for sports success to her second career. Suzana Skoko is a former Croatian shooter and today the secretary general of the Croatian Shooting Federation.

Suzana Skoko is a former Croatian shooter and today the secretary general of the Croatian Shooting Federation. During her sports career she was a Croatian national shooting team member for over 10 years and has been involved in shooting for 16 years. She was the world junior record holder and European air rifle champion. She made two appearances at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics, and in Barcelona in 1992 she took 5th place in the discipline of 3×20 shots, a small calibre air rifle.

At the European Championships in 1993 she won a silver medal in the air rifle and in 1997 a silver medal in a small calibre rifle 60 shots, and from 1989 to 2001 a handful of team medals. She won bronze medals at the World Cups and at the World Junior Championships she was the member of the team that won the World Championships. At the 1991 Mediterranean Games, she won the gold medal in air rifle, in 1993 the silver medal small calibre rifle; 1997 Gold Medal Small calibre rifle.

She was named the best athlete in Croatia in 1993 and in the same year received the national sport award Franjo Bučar.

When did you decide to quit your sport career?

In 2001, it was time to say goodbye to my sports career because I had other interests. Unfortunately, at the time, athletes in so-called smaller sports such as shooting were not financially backed as they are now. Nowadays, our athletes have contracts with the Ministry of Defence and are free to engage in what is most important for the sport, which is training and competing

How did you decide to go to college?

I enrolled in the Faculty of Economics in 1989 but stopped in the second year because at that time I was in the period of my biggest sports success, I was training intensively, and I was not able to harmonize all my obligations. After completing my sports career, I enrolled at Vern University, which I completed in 2004.

What did you do after your sports career ended?

After sports, I worked for almost seven years at a well-known Croatian company Croata, where I reached the position of Export Manager. After that I worked as a sales director at two companies in the textile industry. Next, I moved on to construction and real estate, where I was the operating director and sales director. For the last five years, before I started working at the Croatian Shooting Federation, I worked as a regional director for a media company from Belgium that was engaged in producing economic investment reports for developing countries. These were promotional reports in the form of one-hour films and publications presented in developed countries to attract investors to developing countries. I worked in Asia, Africa, Europe…

What do you think about the education system in Croatia from the perspective of an athlete?

I find that our education system is generally not well adapted to athletes. In America, you have entire cities that are tailored to those who show some talent or are good at a sport. Such people are not pressured to have PhDs but are moving towards harnessing their talent. In my opinion, the education system should help young people in sports to find and further enrich the things which they are good at, so that they can eventually combine sports with another career.

In my time there was not much talk or thinking about what to do with athletes after sports, everyone somehow had to manage on their own. There is more talk of dual careers today, and sports high schools and sports classes in different high schools have been introduced, so I have to say that some things have been done, but that is still not enough. I believe that as a country that is genetically and naturally gifted for sports, we need to make much more use of it, primarily through the harmonization of the education system.

How different is your life now that you are the first operative of the Croatian shooting federation in comparison to when you were an athlete?

When you are an athlete then you are a star, you do what you love and when you have a problem you have no fear of saying it because you are the best and nobody can do anything to you. In work it is different, here you have to make a lot of people happy; things have to be just as they imagined it, and there are a lot of people in sport who have some ideas and visions. I chose a business career, but I could have chosen to stay in sports as a coach after a competitive career, and it would certainly be easier because you stay in something familiar, but we top athletes usually like challenges and we like to prove ourselves in new situations.

What were your biggest challenges when you finished your sports career and started a business career?

As an athlete, I always liked to have a strong base, maybe there were girls who were more talented than I was, but I was always working and training harder and because of that I achieved success, and that’s the good thing I got out of the sport. So, when I started working I started from the bottom, from the base, I started as a secretary and had in my head that when eventually I was going to be a director, I needed to know what a secretary has to do. This approach has helped me to be aware how things work today and to work with many different people who all have some ideas, desires and goals.

How does your sporting experience help you today as Secretary General?

I think working in the real sector has helped me a lot to cope with many of the demands of my job, especially in understanding how associations work. But I also believe that this position cannot be filled by someone who has never been in sports, who does not understand the thinking of top athletes, the need to go to competitions, how things work in preparation, what are some little things that can help athletes succeed. A winning combination is when one has both business and athlete i.e. sports experience.