The Slovenian Paralympic Committee awarded the best Slovenian Para athletes for their performances in the 2023 season in Brdo on Tuesday, January 23.
Among the best Para athletes of the country are deaf athlete Leja Glojnaric and Para shooter Francek Gorazd Tirsek, while the Slovenian women’s sitting volleyball team took home the Team of the Year prize.
The Athletes of the Year had the privilege to receive their respective awards from the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Dr. Natasa Pirc Musar; while the sitting volleyball team had the honour to receive their award from the Speaker of the National Assembly, Urska Klakocar Zupancic.
In addition to the team honour, Tija Vrhovnik won this year’s Young Para Athlete of the Year, following her teammate Klara Vrabic’s award-win in the same category in the previous year.
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For more than a quarter of a century, the Slovenian women’s sitting volleyball team has been among the best teams in Europe and the world. They have proven that again when they played at the last European Championship in Caorle, Italy, winning silver and vying for a spot at this year’s Paralympic Games. They will be competing again at the final qualifiers in China this April.
Members of the team that won silver at the European Championship were Lena Gabrscek, Valentyna Brik, Jana Ferjan, Bogomira Jakin, Senta Jeler, Suzana Ocepek, Klara Vrabic, Tija Vrhovnik, Barbara Kocmur and Vesna Pogacar, supported by team officials Simon Bozic, Danica Gosnak, Tjasa Vidic and Stefan Knezevic.
Meanwhile, Bozic and Gabrscek were featured recently by RTV Slovenia. Coach Bozic and his 29-year-old captain talked about how they got involved in the sport, facing and fighting their way out of obstacles and finally being vindicated as one of the best teams in their country.