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Damir Oborovecki: “All the shooters seem like a big crossbow family, and that friendly atmosphere is what sport should really be about”.


On June 28-30 the 24th Croatia Cup in “Field” division will take place in Veliko Trgovišće. The competition is going to be very interesting and surprise greatly all the crossbow shooters and spectators! What surprises are to be expected? One of the organizers of the WC, Damir Oborovecki, lifted the veil. You can read about the innovations, prospectives of crossbow shooting development as well as the coach’s family and his occupation in the exclusive interview at www.iau-crossbow.org.

- The preparation for (24th Croatia Cup) which is to take place on June 28-30, is entering the home stretch. Could you, please, tell us about the work done? Was it difficult to organize the competitions?

- Luckily, in Veliko Trgovišće we have a team of people that is always there to help. We couldn’t organize this competition without the help we got from our county and municipality, but also from our local people. Croatian team members also help us a lot, and in the organization part we do not rely only on one person. We have already done most of the preparation for this competition, so there are only finishing touches that still have to be done.

- What can you say about the number of participants of the IAU World Cup in Croatia: how many countries have already applied for the participation in the competitions and how many athletes and countries are expected?

- Entry forms can still be sent. Hereby I invite the teams that still haven’t sent their applications to do it until 14th June. Of course, we hope that there will be more countries than last year, because it would show us that we are doing a good job.

- What about the infrastructure: where are you planning to conduct the competitions and accommodate the athletes?

- The competition will take place at the Sports venue in Veliko Trgovišće as always. As far as the accommodation is concerned, we have arranged a special discount for our competitors in Terme Tuhelj Hotel Well, situated about a ten-minute drive from the Sports centre. They have previously offered us a great service, and we hope that our competitors will feel comfortable there.

- As for the format of the competitions, what rules will the competitions in “Field” division of 24th Croatia Cup –IAU World Cup be governed by? Will spectators be able to see duel crossbow competitions again?

- The competition will be governed by the new IAU rules, which should be more interesting for spectators. The first day of the competition goes as usual, but on the second day of shooting we will have duels between the competitors. We have already seen that type of shooting in Orël, where the organization was spectacular. The bar is set up high; we can only try to make the competition as interesting as it was there.

- To your mind, which country is the leader in Field crossbow shooting? What is it due to: technical support, the traditions of this kind of sport, high qualified coaches or something else?

- Although Croatian shooters have won the crystal globes for the best shooters of the year, I can say that there are many high quality shooters from Russia, Germany and France that are tough to compete with. Crossbow shooting is a very complex sport and in addition to high-quality equipment, a good athlete has to be well trained and mentally prepared to achieve a great result. The tradition of the sport plays a key role because the more you are in this sport, the more experience you get. We are really happy that we were able to learn something new, share and compare our experience with the best crossbow coaches at training courses. This year the IAU Trainers Course will again be held in Veliko Trgovišće, before the IAU World Cup. I hope all interested coaches will come and help to develop new tactics.

- A modernization issue is highly discussed now. What is your opinion about the modernization of the IAU competition rules? Do you support the changes? Why are they necessary? What, in your view, still needs to be changed in the IAU competition rules and apart from them, in general?

- It is definitely necessary to make our sport more interesting to spectators. The audience brings the sport to a next level. The changes that have so far been made are still something new in crossbow sport and it will take some time until they show us real results. Some things still need a finishing touch, but up to now the changes have made this sport more attractive. -Mr. Pero Stojnić, carried on an intrigue, saying that the forthcoming competitions are going to be very interesting. Please, lift the veil, and tell us what the IAU President meant, what surprises and innovations are waiting for crossbow shooters and spectators. The IAU management team has done a great work as far as the innovation and surprises are concerned. There have been many interesting changes, and now in Veliko Trgovišće we will have first duels outdoors, in each category. This is a big organizational challenge, but we will do our best to make it interesting both for the shooters and the audience.

- Please, tell us how crossbow shooting appeared in your life? How and when did you learn about this kind of sport?

- I was first introduced to this sport by Pero Stojnić and Branko Pereglin. I have a privilege to say that I was a member of the organizing committee of the World Championship held in 2012 in Bratina. After many years in target shooting I can say that crossbow is very different from other disciplines. The thing that always makes me smile is that all the shooters seem like a big crossbow family, and that friendly atmosphere is what sport should really be about.

- They say that crossbow shooting is a family sport for you. Your children, Martin and Mihaela, constantly show good results at all the IAU competitions. Thus, we wonder whether you are a strict father and coach?

- Well, they really try to do their best. I cannot say that I am really strict, neither as a coach nor as their father. I’m more of a technical support to them, but I’m always there to help them if they need something.

- Was the decision of going in for crossbow shooting a personal choice of Martin and Mihaela or your experience influenced them?

- Crossbow shooting was first proposed by Branko, when he saw the results which our club members achieved in air rifle. Martin was eager to try a new discipline, and after a few months Mihaela joined him. Maybe I made some suggestions at the beginning, but I believe they wouldn’t be doing it if they didn’t love this sport.

- You are also a personal coach of Martin and Mihaela, is it hard to train your own children? Do you feel double worried and responsible in this regard? Maybe, you’re even more demanding of them than any other crossbow shooters?

- It is definitely not easy to stand behind them and worry about how everything will go. It was especially hard at the European Championship in Pärnu, when they were competing one against the other in the finals. But on the other hand, when they both achieve a great result it is a double victory and double joy.

- What, in your view, is the main aim of a coach? Technical training of athletes, their mental approach or, maybe, both of them?

- I believe a coach should try to prepare a shooter for any kind of unexpected situation. In my experience, that includes mental training, technical stuff, but also physical preparation of an athlete. Of course, as a coach I believe you have to work on your own education before teaching someone else. But in the end, even if everything mentioned above is checked, the shooter is the one that needs to be ready for a big result.