The Slovenia Times

Bobinac elected Slovenian Olympic Committee head


Franjo Bobinac, former chair of the Slovenian Handball Federation, has succeeded two-term president Bogdan Gabrovec at the helm of the Slovenian Olympic Committee after an occasionally heated campaign that lasted weeks. He received 54% in the second round of voting on 16 December to narrowly defeat Tomaž Barada.

Bobinac, a former long-serving chairman of home appliances maker Gorenje, has been serving as vice-president for global marketing at Hisense International following Gorenje's takeover by the Chinese firm a few years ago.

The 64-year-old said that dialogue, cooperation and solutions to create better conditions for Slovenian sports at all levels were his main priorities.

"The race was good, interesting, and it was not easy for me. I've met an incredible number of people who want Slovenian sport to do even better. It seems to me that sport in Slovenia can improve its reputation, and get even more funds," he said.

He said that under him, the Olympic Committee will experience evolution rather than revolution. He will look at what has been done well in the past and where there is room for improvement.

During the campaign he called for the amount of public funds for sport to be doubled to EUR 52 million, announced the creation of a solidarity fund for small associations, promoted exercise and a healthy lifestyle, and advocated for more sport in schools.

He will advocate for greater promotion of Slovenian sport in international organisations and involvement of Slovenian athletes in these associations.

Bobinac's bid had been endorsed by several sports associations. The most prominent supporters included Enzo Smrekar, the head of the Slovenian Ski Federation, and Metod Ropret of the Volleyball Federation.

Born in Celje, Bobinac started building his career in sport in the local environment, first as the president of the Gorenje Velenje handball club, and then taking over as the head of the Slovenian Handball Federation in 2008.

Since 2018, he has been a member of the Slovenian Olympic Committee's executive committee, where he also chaired the marketing committee between 2014 and 2018.

Since last year he has also been a member of the European Handball Federation's executive committee.


More from Sport