Interview with Ivona Pavićević

handball player

Ivona, you made your first handball steps in the Women’s Handball Club (WHC) “Danilovgrad.” After that, you played at the WHC “Budućnost” in Podgorica and the Romanian club “Korona Brasov.” How do you recall the beginning of your career? Did you, as a teenager and a student of Danilovgrad High School, dream about all the successes that you, as a professional handball player, achieved?

»When I was a young athlete in Danilovgrad, I aspired to achieve great things in handball. However, my path exceeded even my childhood dreams. Memories of the early days are filled with a mixture of hard work, the thrill of competition, and the joy of playing the game I love. Every step, from Danilovgrad to Podgorica, all the way to Romania, laid the foundations for my professional career and taught me valuable lessons. The successes I have achieved are proof not only of my dedication but also of the support and guidance I received along the way. Since I was little, I have been fortunate enough to watch our national handball team and the club “Budućnost” compete in major tournaments and win medals. It has always been an additional motivation for me to pursue handball.

There is no doubt that you played the most important matches in the WHC “Budućnost Bemax” jersey in Podgorica, where you currently perform. As a native of Podgorica, how do you perceive performances in your city? To what extent do you think your motivation to win differs from the motivation of your teammates who come from other cities?

» Playing for WHC “Budućnost Bemax” in my hometown, Podgorica brings an indescribable sense of pride and responsibility. The bond I’ve built with my city and the people who live in it inspires me to do my best and proudly represent our team’s colors. While my teammates come from different places, we are all united by a joint mission – that is, the victory of our club. But my personal experience in Podgorica has been marked by memories of the support I have received from family, friends, and longtime fans. The feeling of playing on the same court where I used to cheer as a child gives me exceptional strength. It makes every success even more significant.

You once said that playing in “the national team jersey brings a special emotion.” In December 2022, you made an immeasurable contribution to the Montenegrin national team, helping them win a bronze medal at the European Championship. In your opinion,  for an athlete, how important is sincere dedication and love for the country it represents at major competitions?

» We as people differ and have different opinions, and that is entirely normal, but when it comes to the national team, we unite. It is very nice to play knowing that the whole country is watching and supporting you. Also, it is a special feeling to represent the small country of Montenegro in the best light at major competitions, and I am delighted to be able to promote it by playing for the national team.