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08/04/2016 14:14
Obituary: Yugoslavia’s Volleyball legend Milica Stojadinovic (77)
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Belgrade, Serbia, April 8, 2016. Milica Stojadinovic, a former Volleyball player, national team captain, coach, journalist, founder and long-time president of the Association of Serbian National Team Players, passed away on Wednesday night in Belgrade, after a short illness, aged 77.

Stojadinovic played as many as 107 matches for the Yugoslav national team from 1955 until 1971, and was their team captain from 1962 till 1971. She played at two European Championships - in 1958 and 1963, and at the World University Games in 1961 and in 1965.

She debuted in the national team in 1955, at only 14.5 years of age. Stojadinovic started to play the game back in 1951 at the Volleyball club Trgovački before she moved to play for VC Poštar from 1952 to 1956. After that she represented Partizan BEOGRAD from 1956 to 1971 and with this team she won six national titles (1956, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961 and 1968) and two National Cups.

Milica Stojadinovic was one of the winners of the very first Yugoslav Cup played in 1958/1959, and together with her teammates from Partizan she also claimed the following edition in 1959/1960. In both occasions Partizan BEOGRAD defeated MARIBOR in the finals, and did so in straight sets (3-0). Stojadinovic and Partizan played in the quarter-finals of the European Champions Cup in 1961.

After leaving Partizan, Stojadinovic played for Radnički BEOGRAD (1972-1974) and Mladost VRŠAC (1975-1977). She was Yugoslavia’s best Volleyball player for as many as ten times and another seven times she received the honour of Partizan Sports Society’s best athlete.

Stojadinovic received her coaching diploma in 1968, i.e. already during her competitive career, and after retiring from the sport she coached the teams of Partizan, Poštar, and Obilić; in 2000 she founded the coaching school in the City Centre for Physical Culture of Yugoslavia’s capital, Belgrade, and went on to establish also the Volleyball school named ‘Every child has the right to have a chance’.

She was editor in chief of ‘Partizanov vesnik’, the official magazine of the Partizan Sports Society from 1983 to 1992, and then President of the International Commission in the Serbian Association of Organisations for Physical Culture as well as a member of the International Commission in the Association of Physical Culture of Yugoslavia.

She was awarded with the ‘May Award’ by the Association of Organisations for Physical Culture in 1967, with the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ by the Serbian Sports Association in 2013, and with the ‘Golden Plaque of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia’ in 2009. She was a holder of the Yugoslav Medal of Honour with the Silver Stars, which was conferred to her in 1975.

Commemoration of the deceased Milica Stojadinovic will be held on Tuesday, April 12, at 12:00, at the Athletes Ceremonial Hall in the premises of the Partizan Sports Society in Belgrade.

Milica Stojadinovic will be buried at the Central Cemetery in Belgrade, on Tuesday, April 12, at 14:30 CET.

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