Aleksandar Boricic – the next CEV President
The current president of the Serbian volleyball federation is the likely winner of the continental confederation elections in Sofia this weekend
In the past several days the attention of the entire volleyball world has been focused on the ongoing 2015 CEV European Championship for men in Bulgaria and Italy, but alongside the distribution of this year’s continental medals, another major piece of news is eagerly expected to come from Sofia this weekend. On Saturday the elections for President of the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) will be held and who will run European volleyball for the next four years will become known. While on recent occasions this kind of news was rather trivial, this time will be different, because in all likelihood a new name will emerge against the top position in the continental confederation.
The current Senior Vice President of the CEV, the 67-year-old Serbian Aleksandar Boricic will run for the presidential post against the incumbent Andre Meyer, the 71-year-old Luxembourger, who has been in charge since 2001. By all means, Boricic has a proven track record in successful sports management and for many, many years there has not been a more suitable candidate for the top job. Everybody, who follows closely the sport of volleyball, knows it, and more importantly, those who are eligible to vote on Saturday, the 55 national member federations, know it perfectly well. They are all familiar with the wonders the president of the Serbian federation has done for the development of volleyball in his country and are well aware that Boricic is the fresh blood that the CEV needs to avoid falling into stagnation.
Boricic was elected president of his country’s federation in 1992 at a time when Yugoslavia was politically isolated and was far from the status of an international volleyball power. It was rather considered a small federation, but although the country was getting smaller and smaller due to its break-up, volleyball was growing into the opposite direction. It is hardly necessary to mention today’s status of Serbia as a major international volleyball power, consistently among the top ten in the world. Since Boricic took over, his country has triumphed with numerous gold, silver and bronze medals from all major international competitions for both genders and all age groups, peaking with the Olympic gold from Sydney 2000. And all this was due to the innovative organizational concept of running the sport that the true visionary Aleksandar Boricic introduced as the man in charge.
He is also the person behind the idea of resurrecting the Balkan Volleyball Association, but with the main focus on youth development. The BVA became the first recognized zonal association within the CEV and the FIVB and its example was followed by other regions in Europe. Although nowadays the entire continent is covered by several zonal associations, the BVA is still the most developed and most successful one. In a quest to spread the volleyball spark among the young, the BVA was the first to introduce international tournaments in the pre-youth age group for girls and boys two years younger than the already established youth category. Despite the fact that the region is otherwise known for the political tensions between countries, through the successful functioning of the BVA, the sport of volleyball has set up an example of how the cooperation between its members can set the foundations for positive results.
Boricic was the person behind the idea that the bigger federations on the Balkans, such as those of Serbia, Bulgaria and Turkey, should extend their helping hands to their smaller neighbors to promote the development of the sport throughout the region. The Serbian federation itself set a shining example of that in 2013, when it co-hosted the CEV Youth European Championships for women and for men together with Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, respectively – small countries, which had previously chosen to follow their own paths of independence. On both occasions, the Serbian federation offered its know-how to its developing neighbors, but allowed them to step into the spotlight by organizing the final stages of these competitions. Aleksandar Boricic has clearly proven that he is familiar with the problems of both the big and the small volleyball federations and, what is more important, cares about them and knows how to find the solutions.
Aleksandar Boricic is not simply a great sports manager. A huge plus for him is that he knows the sport of volleyball from all its perspectives. He was very successful as both an athlete and a coach. As a player of Yugoslavia’s national team and of Crvena Zvezda Belgrade and as a coach of the women’s national team and the team of Crvena Zvezda, he has earned many titles and medals on both the domestic and the international scene. Actually, Boricic is a unique case of one person who claimed medals from major international competitions as a player, as a coach, and as a federation president. In his career as a manager, Boricic stayed true to the qualities he used to have as a player – intelligent, persistent, persevering…
In addition to his coaching diploma, Boricic has a University of Belgrade degree in economics. He understands the sport’s business side and how important it is on the way to delivering results, both internally and externally. Boricic has not been alone in his quest to develop the favorite sport. His true charisma as a leader is reflected by the deep respect he enjoys among everybody in the Serbian volleyball family – from the professionals working at the federation directly under his supervision to all international stars playing for the Serbian national teams. The candidate for the presidential post at the CEV has also shown his ability to pick out the right people for the right jobs turning the national federation into an organization of the highest standards. His “right hand” and close friend Slobodan Milosevic, the General Secretary of OSS, one of the best respected functionaries in the international volleyball world, is just one example.
As a sports journalist, I have had the pleasure to meet Boricic and talk with him on several occasions, but I have communicated a lot more with the people he works with and I never detected even the slightest complaint or any hint of criticism addressed at him. Quite the opposite, it is all about admiration of his professional attitude and results, coming from people who are ready to sign their names under a statement that the Serbian federation is the best federation in the world.
Boricic’s talent as a sports manager and a leader has also helped him in his external communications. His tall figure, elegant posture, good humor and positive attitude, but most importantly his well-argumented ideas, prompt both respect and trust, and easily predispose people to want to be his friends, partners, sponsors… Talking about sponsors, here is another major plus in Boricic’s candidacy - he has a proven track record of attracting the financing that is so vital at all levels of any sports organization. Furthermore, the initial idea to organize the European Championships in two countries at the same time in order to share the financial burden belonged to Boricic and his Italian counterpart Carlo Magri, so the first such continental forum became reality back in 2005, when the men’s EuroVolley was co-hosted by Serbia and Montenegro and Italy, and then many other countries followed this example. It is also worth mentioning that Aleksandar Boricic enjoys a high status within the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) and his election as CEV President would certainly improve the relations between the two governing bodies.
The story of Aleksandar Boricic is a story about volleyball – the sport he has dedicated his entire life to. Sasa, as his friends endearingly call him, has certainly done wonders, putting his small country on the volleyball map as one of the major international powers, raising the standards of regional and international cooperation and developing the sport’s young talent for a brighter future, but I am sure he has a lot more to offer as a charismatic leader, a true visionary and the next CEV President.
Тагове: Aleksandar Boricic, CEV, EuroVolley 2015, CEV Congress