Interview Branislav Stojanović
Sports spirit in banking Our Bank is one of the biggest sponsors of the Olympic Committee of Serbia for the fifth Olympic cycle, since 2004. Investing in top national sports and promoting sports values is one of the priorities for us in the segment of corporate responsibility. We perceive Olympism as an important and inspiring […]
Sports spirit in banking
Our Bank is one of the biggest sponsors of the Olympic Committee of Serbia for the fifth Olympic cycle, since 2004. Investing in top national sports and promoting sports values is one of the priorities for us in the segment of corporate responsibility. We perceive Olympism as an important and inspiring topic, because we believe in values such as “fair play”, perseverance, focus, discipline, focus on success. We know that setting a personal example is the best way to accept these values and that is why we are very proud to have a colleague among us who competed in the 4 x 400 meter relay at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Branislav Stojanović from Kikinda, with whom we spoke about top sports, personal experience of the Olympic Games, but also work in the Bank.
How did you start doing sports and how did you decide on athletics or did athletics choose you?
The first sport I started doing was swimming, I was seven years old. It is interesting that my swimming coaches were the first to realize that I had talent – for running. Whenever we had so-called dry training, the coaches told me: “Eh, if you could swim as you run!” However, I did not immediately start training athletics, briefly I tried football, and only after I had success in school cross-country races and won first places in these competitions, after the sixth grade of elementary school, I started training athletics at the youth athletics club in Kikinda. In 1998, I moved to Partizan from Belgrade, where I qualified for the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
What do you consider your greatest sporting success?
Ever since my pioneer age, when I competed in the 600-meter run, I had good results. I really don’t know the exact number of medals won, there are probably about fifty of them, from various competitions. I won the first medal for the senior national team of Serbia, in which I had been since my junior days, at the Balkan Games in Niš in 1997, where I was second in the Balkans in the 400 meter race, and in the 4×400 relay we were the Balkan champions. In addition to those successes, I would definitely single out the qualification and participation in the Olympic Games as something that will be remembered for a lifetime. However, in addition to winning medals at domestic and international competitions and participating in the Olympic Games, I consider it my greatest sporting success to have encouraged children in my city, Kikinda, to play sports.
Participating in the Olympic Games is certainly an unforgettable experience, share your impressions and experience from Sydney.
Even today, when I remember my participation in the Olympic Games, the impression is so strong that I don’t know how to describe it in words. I remember the euphoria I experienced when I qualified for the Olympics, but to participate as a competitor, to be in the Olympic Village with all those athletes from all over the world that until then I only had the opportunity to see on TV, have lunch together, watch matches, train with them … I felt like I was in a movie. I watched the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 on television, cheered with my friends in Kikinda, and at the next ones I was among the competitors. I had the opportunity to support our athletes, and in addition to athletics, I mostly went to basketball, handball and volleyball games.
What can be applied in Bank’s operations in terms of sports results? Can you draw a parallel between teamwork, which is undoubtedly one of the keys to success in the relay, and teamwork in the branch?
I have been in banking since 2005, and since 2008 I have been in the current Bank in the branch in Kikinda, in direct contact with clients. I can freely say that playing sports has influenced my way of thinking, which of course is also reflected at work. This is mostly reflected in my calmness in working under pressure, work organization, persistence in achieving the set goals without fear. I think that team spirit is crucial in fulfilling business tasks, that we need to help each other because there is no individual success if there is no success of the team, and it mostly depends on the coach how he will motivate, organize and lead his team.
Tell us something about your further (sports) plans?
This year, after a fifteen-year break, I started competing again, now in the veteran category. At the Serbian Indoor Championships in Belgrade, in February this year, I was first in the 400m competition and second at the Balkan Games in Belgrade in March. I had a plan to prepare for participation in the World Cup, which was supposed to be held in Canada also this year, but it was cancelled due to the well-known situation and postponed to next year. I hope that 2021 will be better in every sense and that I will be able to get ready and go to this competition.