IVVA - International Veteran Volleyball Association

JAN KAPERA

1) What brought you to the organizing of this tournament?
Well, I have been connected with volleyball practically all my life and I have many friends around there as well, so I wanted to come up with something that would provide an opportunity to play with other former players and even across Europe. Thanks to the active young team which has been formed around me, we decided to bring the idea of an International Tournament to reality.

 

2) When did you come up with this idea?
I have to admit, that the most important inspiration I got from the Veteran European Championship in basketball which took place in Ostrava last year and was a great success. There were over a hundred teams attended in various age-based categories, with guests from all around the world.

 

3) How could this tournament contribute volleyball in general?
As I mentioned before, I got the inspiration from basketball, in which there is International Veteran Organization, which has been organizing such events all around the world and the former players and friends could meet, compete and experience the atmosphere of a big tournament. We would like to create the similar tradition and represent Ostrava as the city, in which the sports are supported.

 

4) Since what age have you been practicing volleyball?
I have been practicing volleyball since I was 16. I had been playing for three years in high school in Opava before I moved to TJ Vitkovice, which at the time, was playing in Czech top division. During the compulsory military service in Prague, I was selected for the men national team with whom I attended to World Championship in Mexico, European Championship in Belgrade and pre-olympic tournament in Montreal, Canada.

 

5) For what reason have you chosen volleyball specifically?
By the age of 16, I had been practicing practically every sport. Then, the Director of the high school I came on stepped up and dedicated me into it. I possessed all necessary skills, the height and agility, to be successful at volleyball.

 

6) The problem of modern athletes are injuries, have struggled with them during your career or were you able to avoid them?
During my career I had to deal with a variety of injuries, especially the leg injuries (ankle, knee).

 

7) Volleyball is not the most popular sport in the Czech Republic but has a large fan base. Is it possible to make living by it?
Nowadays, volleyball players in First Division level or playing abroad, could make a good living. However, of course it depends on the conditions in their club.

 

8) Are you still playing volleyball as active player?
At this time, I am just coaching.

 

9) And how does your coaching career exactly looks like?
I started coaching career after the ending of active playing career in 1991. Throughout my coaching career, I have trained the young boys in the categories Cadets, Juniors. Only one season I spent as coach of men in Hungarian Nyiregyháza and one season in Czech First Division team Havirov. I had been training cadets and juniors VK Ostrava for since then, except the last three years, because I have been working as a coach of junior category of SSK Beskydy for that period. At the same time I have been working as a coach at the Sports Gymnasium Dana and Emil Zatopek in Ostrava, where I was able to graduate First Class Coaching Certificate.

 

10) How is the idea of veteran tournament appreciated among your colleagues and former teammates?
If my former teammates participate in such actions, they take it primarily as a meeting with their mates, peers and opponents. Here, I must point out the fact that a lot of former teammates do not play volleyball for health and other reasons. In my opinion, the idea of veteran tournaments is very popular among the players and they would love to participate because it is not just a sport but a social event as well.
11) Have you already experienced similar tournament abroad?
When I was younger, but already at the veteran category, I was invited to the Veteran Tournament in Germany. The organization of this event was similar to those organized in Czech Republic.

 

12) At what age the players are capable of playing on First Division level?
Of course, it depends on every player, but generally some positions (block, pass) are not as physically demanding, and these players are able to play at this level even at an older age (40 years). On the other hand, smash position is much more physically difficult, so the situation is different. But even at this position there are exceptions.

 

13) At what age is it possible to play regularly at least for fun?
Due to my age and health conditions I do not participate such events, but I think that if health is good, it is possible to do this sport even in very advanced age (60 years and over).

 

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