Nataša Preis-Bedenik

Organising a Major Sport Event: Case Study of the European Junior Triathlon Cup in Zagreb, Croatia 2016

This organising major sport event case study focuses on organisation of specific sport event:  European Junior Triathlon Cup held in Zagreb, Croatia on 18th of September 2016. Trough analytic approach study will detect major problems in the all 4 phases of organisation: design, development, implementation and dissolution of European Junior Cup in 2016 and propose solutions for organising same level of event in 2017. and on.

It has been assumed that collective efforts and experienced organisers of National level competitions will have no problem in implementing higher level of organisation standards proscribed by European Triathlon Federation, if given enough financial resources and regional institutions support. Trough planning process organising NF and Local Organising Committee (LOC) discovered and handled other insufficiencies and their efforts, in the end, had a lasting positive effect that was not initially planned. In addition, precise planning and post-event reports revealed the need for structural changes that must be implemented on NF and LOC  level in order to reach organisational goals and further development of triathlon event organisation.

This case study aims to detect specific problems and propose solutions for first two phases: design and development of high-level event with few additional references on implementation and dissolution.

Organising the Croatian Triathlon Federation

Purpose of this case study is to identify currently proscribed structural situation and procedures of decision-making process within NF and propose solutions for more effective, optimised and more flexible organisation with relatively clear and independent levels of institutional, managerial and technical system, or –  levels of planning, organising and doing the work within NF.

Inspirational quote initiated this particular case study and revealed basic approach that was leading principle of proposed organisational changes within relatively small NF:

“The governing body must govern; that is, it must provide leadership and strategy and must focus on the ‘big picture’. Governance is about planning the framework for work and ensuring it is done. As such, it is distinct from management (organising the work) and operations (doing the work). As far as possible, the governing body should therefore steer clear from making managerial decisions and getting involved in the day-to-day implementation of strategy.”

(Source: )

Croatian triathlon Federation can be characterised as smaller one: 7 BOD members, one payed professional – secretary general, few volunteering national level coaches that take care of national team of athletes that train within 35 clubs. Within organisation with single paid staff and large number of volonteurs who know each other and function like one big family it is easy for the governing body to get involved with everyday questions, shortterm management and operations. It is quite easy to lose sight of the need to focus on strategy for the longer-term.

On the plus side, the ones who are responsible (BOD) are actually directly informed and completely engaged in decision-making process.

This study aims to balance pluses and minuses of decision-making process and suggest structural changes in order to optimize the work of different levels of organisation. It is essential to find an effective way of balancing the demands of governance, management and operations, which are all in a way crucial to the NF successful functioning.


Nataša Preis-Bedenik

Secretary General

Croatian Triathlon Federation