Archer, DJ and now coach for Slovenia at the para world championships
Former international archer Brina Bozic is at the 2019 World Archery Para Championships in ’s-Hertogenbosch – as a coach.
The 27-year-old is one of only two people who made the trip from Slovenia. The other is Dejan Fabcic, who is shooting in the recurve men’s open event at his first championships.
“I met this guy, he came to me and said he was a two-time Paralympian in other sports. And he wanted to start a new journey with archery,” said Brina.
“He asked me if I had time for him. I said yes, let’s try it.”
Bozic competed at a number of major events as an athlete, including the Youth Olympic Games in 2010, and Summer Universiade and World Archery Championships in Copenhagen in 2015.
This might be Fabcic’s first international archery event. But he has plenty of experience in other sports, having competed in swimming and para canoeing at previous Paralympics.
Now archery is his target. “Disability is only in the mind,” he says, and it perfectly sums up his attitude.
Even after only a few months of archery training he’s at world championship level.
“Everything is new and we are setting new boundaries. As for now, it’s quite easy because his upper body is fine. That’s similar to able-bodied archers,” explained Brina.
“On the other hand, for every human being you’ve to find solution, technique and that’s not easy.”
“At first I didn't know where to start. We had less than a year to prepare, a really short time. From September we’ve been preparing for this competition. We started from scratch and there’s still a lot to do.”
Working with Fabcic is a challenge. But this pair want to go far together. The goal is obvious.
“I have a vision, we want to go to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Paralympics. I like it, it’s also for myself to be happy, to stay in archery. And of course to help him achieve his goals. I know what archery looks like, what an archer’s training looks like and now I can see what para archery looks like,” said Brina.
Para archery is a new world for the former athlete – but it’s one she already likes.
“It’s not so competitive. Normally, in archery it’s competitive. Here, it’s really friendly, people wish you good luck, they want all the best for you. People are a bit more open, even during competition,” she said.
It has been two years since Brina stopped shooting competitively and opened a new chapter as a coach. She doesn’t regret it.
“I prefer coaching now. I have a lot of archers now. I see what they want and I try to help them because in Slovenia we don't have a lot coaches,” she said.
Besides archery, Bozic loves music. If you visit a club in Koper, her hometown, you shouldn’t be surprised to see her behind the (digital) turntables.
“This is my hobby. When I stopped with archery, with my shooting career, I wanted to come back to music. When I was little, I used to play a piano and sing. And then I decided to start with being DJ.”
Archer, DJ and coach – and now para coach, too.
“It’s hard when you stop with your archery career. You feel like you don’t know anything else,” said Brina.
“Slowly you’re trying to find other hobbies, what you can do, what you enjoy.”
The 2019 World Archery Para Championships take place on 3-9 June in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.