As part of our new series, we have interviewed members of the European Athletics Young Leaders Youth Team. They were all nominated by their federations to take part in the Young Leaders Forum in Amsterdam last summer and are all recognised as potential leaders of our sport in years to come.
The European Athletics Young Leaders Community is a platform for active young and ambitious people who are interested in developing work and life skills, community service and making new friends.
Tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Spela Hus, I am 27 years old, a former thrower, graduate of Utah State University, former business secretary for the Slovenian Athletic Federation and a current project coordinator. My results have seen me compete at the World U20 Championship, European U20 and European U23 Championship as well as a full-ride scholarship to Utah State University where I graduated from in 2013 with a double degree in International Business and Economics with a marketing minor. I fell in love with athletics 14 years ago and it’s a relationship that is trying, but extremely rewarding.
How did you become involved with the European Athletics Young Leaders Community?
I was lucky enough to be introduced into the community by my former boss, also a former member of the community and still a very active volunteer. That happened two-and-a-half years ago, right after the European Athletics Championship in Zurich. The people and the energy of the group completely blew me away and I was convinced this was the right place for me.
What is your favourite thing about athletics?
That everything you achieve is a product solely of your actions. Even though it is dually measured (the result and the placing) and can sometimes be very cruel due to its nature, it is extremely rewarding. Athletics helps you stay healthy and it helps to shape you into a confident, responsible and hard-working person.
— European Athletics (@EuroAthletics) April 21, 2017
Who is your athletics hero and why?
My favourite coach warned me that there are no heroes. He explained it to me by quoting Harvey Dent from The Dark Knight Rises: “You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” But if I had one, that would be my coach. He is completely devoted to athletics, heart and soul, and truly believes his efforts can make lives better for the kids he coaches.
Which areas of the sport are you particularly interested in?
A couple of years ago it was the competitive aspect of the sport, but now I am increasingly more interested and invested in the organising side of the sport. I am devoted to making sure that my work makes the lives of athletes and coaches easier. I always say, that if I do my job well, no one has to be aware of my involvement. If my involvement if noticeable, that means something has gone wrong or that I haven’t done my job well enough.
If you could change one aspect of the sport, what would you change and why?
Apart from the obvious, make the sport truly clean, I would like for the athletes to get the respect and media exposure they so much deserve. It is truly sad that it can happen in a sport as traditional as athletics that not even an Olympic champion is able to make enough money to make a living.
Where do you see yourself within the sport in ten years’ time?
Hopefully as a devoted member of the athletics community, in whatever role the life has in store for me.
What has been your highlight of Young Leaders so far?
Absolutely, without a doubt, the European Athletics Young Leaders Forum in Amsterdam in July of 2016. The speakers were so engaging and I made some strong connections with other participants from across Europe and we have thankfully managed to keep in touch since then.
For more information about Young Leaders, please visit here.