About Zavod Vitae+
Zavod Vitae+ is an institution founded by Laura and Enzo Smrekar to guide athletes on a new path in life after their sports careers have ended. Our goal is to empower them through individualised and holistic treatment. Read the story of our creation!
Reason for establishment
2019 was an incredibly special year for us as we celebrated the 25th anniversary of our journey together. It is one special moment when you look at yourself a little more and become immensely grateful for all that you are, all that you have, and all that you know. But this is not our only connection. We have both found a purpose that gives meaning to the other side of life. On our anniversary, we felt we wanted to intertwine our paths even more: combine our knowledge, experience and skills and dedicate part of our lives to helping and supporting others.
I am an active member of the Ski Association of Slovenia. In recent years, I have worked closely with athletes in sports. For over 15 years I have been involved in the labour market, employment and helping individuals to find new career opportunities. Sports and helping people find employment therefore represent the second crossroads of our lives. In our work we are often confronted with the challenges of both individuals and athletes who want to take a new path in life and find their own identity. In meeting these challenges, we felt the hardship and struggles of many. For this reason, in 2020, we combined our knowledge and passion to create Zavod Vitae+ to support athletes to get ready for life after their sports careers.
Just as sport gives meaning to an athlete's life, work gives meaning to everyone's life. The road to success, satisfaction, and perfection is a long one, with many challenges in all areas. Sometimes we seem invincible and sometimes we feel powerless to deal with them, alone. Therefore individual professional support is so important both for people looking for a job and athletes transitioning to a new path and rediscovering their identity.
With friends, we have raised the funds to begin the Zavod Vitae+ programme. A big thank you to everyone for their invaluable trust and financial support.
In meeting the challenges, we felt the hardship and struggles of many. For this reason, in 2020, we combined our knowledge and passion to create Zavod Vitae+ to support athletes for life after their sports careers.
Director of the Zavod Vitae+ programme
President of the Council of Zavod Vitae+
Testimonials about the programme
I support and appreciate any support and help for top athletes at the end of their sports careers. Individual, holistic support for athletes in the form of a personal coach can make it even easier for them to face and accept their new reality. I would have liked the help of experts myself when I made this decision. I believe that every successful athlete can also be successful in the job market. But what they need in the phase of transition to a new path is the support of an expert. In this way, they can quickly and easily recognise themselves and their own potential, deal intensively with the new reality, and develop techniques that will serve as ‘new props’ for life and work.
Dr. Franci Petek
Supporter of the Zavod Vitae+ programme