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When you come to a match, you have to be open and have to like people

Sports fans must have noticed a middle-aged gentleman in a white shirt, green trousers, green hat and green tie, with his trophy held high in the air. There is no doubt that Aleksander Javornik is one of Slovenia's most recognisable fans. He also founded a fan club where all those who like to cross their fingers for Slovenian athletes are welcome.

Regular guest at most matches

His image is striking and distinctive. He cannot be missed. He is a regular guest at most football, handball, volleyball, basketball and hockey matches. In his absence, fans miss him. He is dedicated to cheering and encouraging the players with his soul and his burning heart. As a youngster, he played for NK Žalec, and in 2012, while watching the World Cup, his eyes fell on a very striking and recognisable Dutch fan in a dress uniform with a trophy. He adapted the idea, putting on a white shirt, a green admiral's suit, a cap and a pair of glasses in Slovenia's colours. And started cheering. In 2013, he got his first trophy for his home European Championship.

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The supporter is key

He loves sport very much and maybe that's why he sees it differently. What are all those feelings that come over him when he is cheering? When you're cheering in the stands, it's the same as if you were playing, he says enthusiastically. You completely switch off from what's going on around you and feel like you're part of the game.

A fan is like a player on the pitch.

Every good move in the stands is rewarded. You're proud to see it and you always look at everything positively. He believes that in every game, the fan is the key. We empathise with the players even when they are not doing well, the supporter encourages, uplifts and motivates the players, he affirms. It is the fans who give strength and energy. We are like motivators, people who encourage and support the player when morale is down. We are the physical and mental nourishment for the players, an extra player on the pitch. Every vote counts, so that Slovenia can be even stronger when it comes to cheering. We call on all sports fans to support as many people as possible from the stands.

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Slovenians love sport

He also hopes that individual sports federations will start to respect them more and realise that fans are a very important factor in every match. They have more than five thousand people in their FB group. He is very proud of that. It proves that Slovenians love sport.

He decided to start a fan club mainly because he noticed that Slovenian fans wear different colours of football, handball, basketball jerseys at matches and he thought why not make the colours more uniform.

That is the goal that remains for him. He is trying to revolutionise this area, as he says, to have a kind of universal jersey in the stands, to have colours for all sports. The aim is also to have more fans and more socialising, the more of us there are, the louder we are, the more we motivate our athletes, he stresses. Of course, he would also like to see the wider community supporting them, especially with sponsorships and covering travel expenses, which are not small. Now, Alexander is already in full training for his trip to Paris for the Olympic Games.

Author: Vesna Žarkovič

Date: 3. July 2024

Time to read: 3 min