Marija Matić is a certified ISIA ski instructor, a former member of the ski national team of Serbia, the owner of the skiing and snowboarding MM ski-sport school and the founder of MM ski club. We are talking to her about skiing, education, obstacles, plans…
Q: How do you usually introduce yourself?
- I have had more than 40 years of experience on skis. Since the first day I put the skis on, I have never taken them off. I ski all the year round, summer or winter. I practically spend 180 days on skis every year, but I am devoted to skiing all 12 months, for skiing is my life. Skiing is my PASSION.
Q: Where does this interest for skiing and this passion originate from?
- I come from the skiing family, my father was a ski instructor, my brother used to compete and now he is a coach of Cyprus skiing national team. They passed on this love for skiing to me and since I was very little, this passion was born , so I have always known what I will become when I grow up.
Q: You also shared your passion with other people- with children in your ski school above all. What is your "prescription" for successful work with such a sensitive category?
- I divided my passion for skiing into two parts so that I could meet children`s needs. The first part is transfer of knowledge and love on to children who have just begun to learn how to ski. The second part is competition, because I share the fate of children competitors because I used to be a competitor myself and I still am.
Q: What is your advice for successful transfer of knowledge?
- I try to convey my knowledge and share my experience and to teach the children values such as perserverance, self-discipline, self-control and overcoming obstacles. What matters to me the most is to help in strengthening and developing the character of each child individually.
Q: Do you know the number of children you have worked with so far?
- So far, in my career as a ski instructor I have managed to teach more than 1800 children how to ski and to convey them my knowledge. My club now has 18 contestants, most of which are my ex-students.
Q: What did your career development look like?
- Throughout my life and my career as well, I have come across many obstacles and even obstruction. But I really believe I have overcome these obstacles because I am very competitive by nature and because I have grown a very strong passion towards skiing and do not treat my job as a common business project.
Q: Have you ever thought of giving up?
- Not for a single moment and that gave me additional strength to cope and go on and finally find myself where I am now.
Q: Is there anything you had to sacrifice for the sake of your career and do you regeret it?
- During my competition period there were many sacrifices from both my and my family`s part. In order to achieve some success and maintain certain quality you have to put in a lot of effort, to be resourceful and make sacrifices, of course. Every year I spend a lot of time in my car and cover at least 30.000km. I am very much involved in obtaining quality equipment, props, I attend seminars about ski school organisation in Austria, but I don`t regret any sacrifice I had to make.
Q: And, finally: What are your plans for the future?
- My plans never end and my future goals are much bigger than what I am doing at present. I don`t want to say much, but my wish is to finally bring skiing to Belgrade.