Klara Klančnik Kozlar - personifying administrative efficiency in Slovenia

Klara Klančnik Kozlar does not play Pitch and Putt regularly but her organisational capabilities are fundamental to the continued progress of our sport in Slovenia. In the wake of another successful Slovenia Open in September, Klara kindly offered us the following wide-ranging interview. (Q.)What role do you play within the Slovenia Pitch and Putt Association?

Klara Klančnik Kozlar: (A.) The Pitch&Putt Association of Slovenia (PPAS) was founded in 2016 and from then on, as a computer scientist, I have been actively involved in running the Pitch and Putt competitions, providing computer support and other technical assistance needed in the association. Since last year I am the President of the competition committee. I am also in touch with the creator (Luis Fernandez) of the FIPPA computer program for running the competitions and players handicaps, whom I helped to adjust the program for Slovenian language and competitions.

Q. What tasks did you perform during the III Slovenia Open?

A. During the Slovenia Open competitions my tasks are:

  •         collecting the individual applications and teams
  •         management of the list of entries
  •         helping the competitors with logistical information, reservation of accommodation and tourist offers
  •         help with the starting list
  •         online distribution of the starting list
  •         entering score cards in the computer program and preparing the results
  •         online distribution of the results
  •         displaying results at the event

This year I was on maternity leave during the III Slovenia Open competition and I was not present at the event. I handed over all procedures to the organization team and worked from the background.

Q. Did the logistics work to plan for the Open?

A. As this was our third Open, everything went according to the settled plans. Everyone knows their jobs and we complement each other for the mutual success.

Q. Were you happy with the success of the III Slovenia Open?

A. We were all very satisfied with the success of the III Slovenia Open. The participation was very diverse, from all over the world, which gave the competition added value and there were well-known and recognized players among the competitors.

Q. Did the change of venue work satisfactorily?

A. The change of the venue turned out to be a good decision. We moved the event to the centre and capital city of our country (Ljubljana), which had a positive effect on the competition atmosphere, brought us to the new level of the organization and also attracted new sponsors.

Q. How gratified were you that players travelled from Catalonia, Netherlands, Ireland and Chile?

A. It is a great honour that players travelled so far to participate at this event. Not only this year, also the previous Open competitions were well attended from foreign Pitch and Putt organizations, which is the good proof that the Pitch and Putt community is through the FIPPA well-connected and the players have the desire to visit our small but beautiful county on the edge of the Alps.

Q. How is Pitch and Putt developing in Slovenia?

A. In the last year we have recorded a big jump in the PPAS membership, actually a 100% increase, for which is partially dictated by last year's establishment of the Pitch and Putt club in the Slovenian capital city Ljubljana, but also other clubs doubled their membership. At Pitch&Putt Association of Slovenia (PPAS) we are working hard to spread the word about Pitch and Putt, train new Pitch and Putt players and help to establish new clubs and courses. In this year, we can say that all the effort paid off.

Q. Do you play Pitch and Putt yourself?

A. Before the establishment of the Pitch and Putt association, I just tried a few times to swing with my father’s (Jozep) clubs. Two years ago I took a Pitch and Putt (coaching) course and since then I occasionally play and attend Pitch and Putt competitions organized by my local Pitch and Putt club (Žaženberk) and PPAS. I wish that in the future I will be able to dedicate more time to play Pitch and Putt.

Q. Will Slovenia be represented at the 2020 World Cup of Pitch and Putt?

A. Chile is quite distant country but we will try to attend at least with some representatives from PPAS.

Q. How are discussions with Croatia progressing?

A. Croatia is country interested in becoming a FIPPA member. They have quite a number of Pitch and Putt players, as well some Pitch and Putt courses and they are organizing tournaments. In 2018, PPAS organized the match between Croatia, Catalonia and Slovenia and as a part of this event, the presidents of Pitch and Putt Croatia, Slovenia and FIPPA met. The discussion was positive and we think that Croatia could become a member of FIPPA at some point.