Interview with the Director of the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships, Budva’s energetic official, Mr. Aleksandr Klemenko28 November 2020
Mr. Aleksandr Klemenko worked as the Director of the Local Organizing Committee in the EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships Budva 2020 with amazing enthusiasm, making history for Montenegro and put the city of Budva into the spotlight.
Montenegro claimed two historical gold medals in the continental event which is the result of their strategy which the Budva Boxing Club’s President and his team built up in the previous years. Mr. Aleksandr Klemenko replied to the questions of the European Boxing Confederation and introduced their hard work.
– Mr. Klemenko, first of all congratulations to arrange a fantastic EUBC Youth European Boxing Championships in Budva. What does it mean for you that you could host the event?
– Thank you very much for your support and gratitude for our efforts in organizing the European Youth Boxing Championship 2020 in Budva. We are proud that EUBC gave us the honour to host this championship. A boxing tournament of this level has never been held in our country. This is a very rare event for Montenegro in other sports as well.
– Montenegro never hosted any continental events yet in the past. What is your opinion about this historical event?
– We did not have the experience of holding events like this. We realized that without exaggeration, it is truly a historical event. We practically created the organizing committee of the tournament on the basis of the boxing club Budva. In addition to coach Mr. Nikola Ružić and me (as the club president), we actually included some of our athletes and their parents. Also, a very important role in organizing the overall logistics of the tournament assigned to the LOC Competition Manager Mrs. Marija Čivović, and she got along perfectly with her role. Everyone understood what a great responsibility we take on, but everyone was full of enthusiasm and pride in their participation in the upcoming event.
– What were the main challenges before and during the competition?
– Unfortunately, there were some unexpected difficulties, the biggest of which, of course, was the difficult epidemiological situation related to the spread of the Covid-19 virus in Europe and the world. So, the borders between European countries are closed and open, partial and complete blockades have been introduced and, in that regard, the date of the tournament has been changed twice. Until the last moment, many of us did not believe in the possibility of holding the event and, even more, with so big success. Here I would like to note the courage and adherence to the principles of the EUBC leadership, which supported the tournament.
– What were the biggest strengths of the event in terms of organization, and environment?
– I am very grateful to the Municipality of the city of Budva, which took over the main costs related to the organization of the competition, the Ministry of Sports of Montenegro, the National Institute of Health and the Government of the country. Everyone gave their best and I am very grateful to everyone! The European Youth Boxing Championship 2020, held in Budva, is the result of the enthusiasm and hard work of a large number of people who combine love and respect for sports. And, of course, gifts are the results of the performance of the Montenegrin national team. Two gold and two bronze medals are a huge reward for all of us! What is most surprising is that all four medals were won by athletes from the same boxing club in Budva, who have been training with the same coach, Nikola Ružić, since childhood. During the past three years, they have already won 7 medals in various continental championship, 4 of which were gold. This is just one club in the city with a population of 15,000 people. I don’t think any of other boxing clubs has such indicators, not even from the biggest cities in the world! Of course, such a result of the performance of our athletes inspires all of us with new ambitious projects for holding continental championships, international tournaments, team and personal training camps, conferences, friendly matches and everything that would contribute to the development of boxing in the region. Also, with the support of the Municipality of Budva, on the basis of the boxing club “Budva”, we made the decision to create an international boxing academy, for which a plot of land in the city centre has already been allocated.
– What is your opinion about the performance of the young talents from Montenegro? What are your strategic future plans in boxing?
– Unique natural and climatic conditions, suitable logistics, EUBC support and gained experience allow us to count on the fact that we will be able to be honoured as the organizer of continental championships many times! Montenegro, like any other country, is full of talented sports children, we just need to be able to provide them with reliable and professional support, not only in sports, but above all in helping to develop them as successful and worthy individuals. And then, we can proudly, together with them, cross this wonderful path from children’s sports to great victories in high-performance sports. This will be my main task as the President of the Boxing Federation of Montenegro.
– Are you planning to host a new event in Montenegro in the future?
– Of course we do. We are already planning to organize Championship 2021 at the same place.