National Models of Good Governance in Sport - Slovenia

Article excerpt

1. Slovenian sports heritage

Sport has always been recognized as an important element of social life of the Slovenians who can proudly look back on their sports heritage. The number of associations, number of members, range of activities, material basis, achieved top sport performance and many others are elements of the common culture of a nation and a wealthy heritage, which is left over to later generations through sport. In Slovenia, rich and diverse life in associations reflects the general social characteristic, indeed, the desire of the Slovenenes to associate and it is true that almost every Slovenian village has got quite a number of sports organizations. (1) The very first Slovenian ever to participate in the Olympic Games was also the first Slovenian Olympic medal winner - Rudolf Cvetko who won silver as a member of the Austrian sabre team in Stockholm in 1912. The most outstanding Slovenian Olympic achievements were performed by their gymnasts, who received a total of 11 medals, five of them gold. Leon Stukelj, a triple Olympic champion (overall and horizontal bar in 1924, rings in 1928), was the most successful member of the legendary Sokol gymnastic team after the World War II and Miroslav Cerar added two gold medals on the pommel horse. At the Winter Olympics, the former Yugoslavia was represented almost exclusively by the Slovenians who consider skiing their national sport. In 1984 and 1988, Slovenian skiers claimed four medals in Alpine Skiing and Ski Jumping.

The Olympic Committee of Slovenia (hereinafter OCS) played a crucial role in the development of sports in recent years. The initiative for the founding of the Slovenian NOC was backed by the most important personalities of Slovenian sports and enjoyed full support by active athletes. Finally, on October 19, 1991, the OCS was solemnly founded in Ljubljana by the representatives of 34 national associations of Olympic sports. After Slovenia had been recognized as an independent state by the European Community, many other countries and some international sports associations, where the International Ski Federation (FIS) played the leading role, the OCS was granted recognition by the IOC Executive Board and IOC-Session in 1992. At the Winter Olympics in Albertville 28 athletes formed the first Slovenian national Olympic team and some months later in Barcelona they could even win the very first medals for the new country. The first athletes to receive Olympic medals under the Slovenian flag were the rowers from Bled who won two bronze medals in Barcelona. In 2000, at the Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Iztok op, Luka Spik /Rowing/ and Rajmond Debevc /Shooting/received the first two gold medals for the independent Slovenia.

2. Principles of organization

The basic element of organization of Slovenian sport is human self determination. The organization of sport is not permanent and should follow people's needs. One of the fundamental principles of a sports organization is to support and promote new forms of people self organization. Sports organizations /clubs/ decide by themselves freely which organization to join. The principle of autonomy is also fundamental for federations which are already structured of sports clubs.

Sport is governed by the Ministry of Education and Sport. State policy is formed in co-operation with sport organizations. The Sport Department of the Ministry administers financial support from the state budget for creating and developing the relevant prerequisites for sports activities. It implements a tax policy that fosters sport. The department is also involved in planning the construction and maintenance of sporting facilities. The government has established the Council of Sport Experts as a state appointed consultative body for sport policy. Along with a total of 17 members, the body includes recognized experts from various fields of sport supported by the state. Half of these experts have been appointed from the persons proposed by sports movement representatives. …