Talking to European Girevoys (2)

kat in comp

This week I have been talking to Gireviks – coaches, experienced athletes and novices – about their year with Kettlebells. I was keen to see some different perspectives on the competitions and training opportunities in 2012, and hear about their personal goals for 2013. Today:┬áKatarina Helcmanovska

This week I caught up with Katarina Helcmanovska. Originally hailing from Slovakia, but having lived in London for the last eleven years, Katarina trains with Gregor Sobocan and recently won Overall Female Winner at our Kettlebell Pentathlon, with an outstanding score of 1440.


I started by asking Kat about Slovenia, since I have seen her sporting a Slovenian Kettlebell Club T shirt. She told me she trains and competes in Slovenia a few times a year as her coach Gregor Sobocan lives there.

“Thanks to Gregor Sobocan GS is very popular in Slovenia”


We got onto the subject of the recent competition in Slovenia.

“On the 15 and 16 December there was a Pound for Pound Kettlebell competition held in Ljubljana, Slovenia at Gregor’s gym. On the Saturday there was Biathlon, and on the Sunday Long Cycle. The gym has a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere which brings athletes at ease. This, on top of the hard work, resulted in many achieving ranks and personal bests. ”


“My favourites were Tajda Sobocan and Neza Knez. Tajda achieved Master of Sport in Biathlon on Saturday by completing 108 jerks and 108 snatches with a 20kg bell, and the next day she managed to do 97 reps in Long Cycle with a 24kg bell, achieving a title candidate for Master of Sport World Class. Neza managed to do amazing 250 reps in Snatch with 16kg.”


I asked Kat how she got started in Girevoy Sport.

“I learnt GS in London. To my knowledge there aren’t any Kettlebell clubs in Slovakia but I may be mistaken of course.. The standard of competitions (in Europe) varies. It depends on the organiser as well as on the competitors. Generally, the bigger the competition, the more likely you are to see high level athletes.”


We got to talking about the value of competing.

“When I was a beginner to this sport, competitions were a big motivating factor for my training. With more years of experience I no longer need to take part in competitions to motivate myself. I have a great coach in Gregor, and he writes me programmes. My aim is to focus on each individual training and successfully complete it.


I closed by asking Kat about her personal goals for 2013: “My next goal is to complete 60 reps in Long Cycle with 2x22kg.” My thanks to Kat for her contribution, and we wish her all the best in 2013 in competition.



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