News from the NOC of Kosovo

Our Kosovan member, the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Kosovo had a busy start of the year. Here is a summary of what they have been up to recently.

Professor Tracy Taylor lectured at the Advanced Sports Management Course

NOC Kosovo currently runs an Advanced Sports Management Course for the presidents and general secretaries of Kosovan sports federations. In February, Tracy Taylor, Professor at the University of Technology in Sydney, gave lectures at the course, focusing on human resource management.

Professor Tracy Taylor holding her lecture

Professor Taylor was enthusiastic about being a guest lecturer in the course and shared her knowledge on human resource management with the attendees.

“I am honored to be in Kosovo. I am here to support the Olympic Committee and the Sports Federations, to make sure that they are structurally walking on the best path. The course offers knowledge on capacity building with sport organisations in order to provide sport support in the country. I am here to lecture on aspects of human resource management, by counseling and giving them opportunities,” said Taylor.

The President of NOC Kosovo, Besim Hasani highly praised the involvement of Tracy Taylor in the course.

“Based on the strategic plan of the NOC with regards to human resource management, we are working with the advanced course, which is attended by general secretaries and presidents of various federations. We feel honored by the presence of the executive master professor, Tracy Taylor, who is sharing the whole experience with us under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee."

Kosovo NOC gives a monthly scholarship to the 2019 Olympic Hopes

For the first time in its history, NOC Kosovo has signed contracts with six young athletes, who have been selected by the Executive Board of the NOC as 2019 Olympic Hopes.

At the signing ceremony held in late February in Pristina, it was announced that the six athletes will receive monthly scholarships of 100 euros from the NOC throughout 2019.

The selected athletes are: Drenis Mala (archery), Erdonis Maliqi (boxing), Melisa Zhdrella (swimming), Bleron Fetaovski (weightlifting), Blerton Nuha (cycling) and Albinot Selmani (karate).

The Kosovan Olympic Hopes with the representatives of the NOC at the signing ceremony

In addition, it was also announced that the NOC has selected 10 other athletes as Olympic Hopes, who will receive scholarships from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports throughout 2019, worth 150 euros per month.

These 10 athletes are: Erza Muminoviq (judo), Shpat Zeka (judo), Muhamet Ramadani (athletics), Betim Maliqi (karate), Patriot Behrami (boxing), Dren Ukimeraj (swimming), Arlind Selimi (wrestling), Arbi Pupovci (skiing), Albina Deliu (athletics), Fatih Karabaxhaku (table-tennis).

The best Kosovan athletes were awarded at the 2018 Laureate Ceremony

Judoka siblings, Nora and Akil Gjakova are the conquerors of sport in Kosovo for 2018. The siblings won the main prizes at the 2018 Laureate Ceremony organised this year for the third time by the Kosovo Olympic Committee.

Last year’s European champion and champion of the Mediterranean Games Tarragona 2018, Nora Gjakova won the “Female Athlete of The Year” prize.

“It is a great honour for me to become one of the best athletes of Kosovo,” she said.

Whereas her brother, Akil Gjakova, who won the gold medal at 2018 Grand Slam in Paris, became European U23 Champion and also gold medallist at the Mediterranean Games Tarragona 2018, won the “Male Athlete of the Year” prize.

Nora and Akil Gjakova with their prizes

Their coach, Driton Kuka, won the "Trainer of the Year" award for the third time, but this time the award was shared by his student, Majlinda Kelmendi.

Coaches of 2018: Majlinda Kelmendi and Driton Kuka

Judo received two more awards. Shpat Zeka was awarded as “The Greatest Olympic Hope” after becoming silver medallist at the junior European Championship. While the same award but in women's competition was given to Erza Muminovic, bronze medallist at the Youth Olympic Games in 2018 in Buenos Aires and cadet European champion. Both stressed that the award motivates them to go for further successes.

The national football team was recognised as the best team of 2018 after last year’s success of not being defeated even once. The award was received by the coach Bernard Challandes.

The so-called “Special Prize” was awarded to the women’s national karate team, that took the seventh place in the world and the second in the Balkan region.

In his speech, the President of the Kosovo Olympic Committee, Besim Hasani applauded the great promotion that sport and athletes are doing for Kosovo in the international arena.

Minister Kujtim Gashi spoke about the continuous support of the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, while he considered last year as the most successful one so far.

All awardees received a 500-2000 euro prize money and the "Illyrian Racer" prize as well.