Hrvatski akademski odbojkaški klub Mladost or shortly HAOK Mladost from Zagreb, Croatia. The beginnings of the most decorated Croatian volleyball club are related to the year of 1945. At the initiative of prominent academic painter, volleyball player and coach - Bojan Stranić, and his like-minded colleague Josip Virant, volleyball section FD Akademičar was founded on 23rd June 1945, from which volleyball club Mladost began developing.
Since 7th July 1945, when the volleyball players of OK Akademičar (forerunner of Mladost) played the first match and defeated the team of the hospital “Kuniščak”, HAOK Mladost is on the winning track, which has led the club to the status of one of the most successful volleyball collective in the former state and nowdays in the Republic of Croatia. There are many club acknowledgements acquired in 70 years of existence, a respectable results confirm the reputation of the club in Europe where HAOK Mladost is well known sports name.
HAOK Mladost is one of the few successful sports club which at the same time has a competitive active female and male teams. Its values are best illustrated by the results achieved. Apart from the club's successes, it should be noted that HAOK Mladost has always been the foundation and most important pillar of the national team. In so called “volleyball circles”, there is the saying “Strong Mladost - strong national team”. Since 1991. and Croatian independence almost all of the successes of Mladost and representative volleyball (national teams) has been achieved by hard work in home of volleyball "Bojan Stranić". The fact that the club since its inception has more national titles and winner of Cup (a total of 87 trophies), than years of existence, speaks about the level of sports results of male and female senior teams of HAOK Mladost. Both teams, man and woman, for decades regularly and successfully participating both on domestic and international competitions. In addition to "European crown" - the title of champion of Europe in 1991 in the women's competition, the international volleyball history also keeps records of eight final appearances in the most important European men's and women's club competition finals and two of the club World Cup for seniors.
In early 2015 HAOK Mladost got a new president, a businessman mr. Miro Pavlović, and the new management team with the aim to guide the club to future successful sports results. Darko Antunović is named as a new sporting director. Darko is the celebrated former national team player who, after many years of playing abroad, the last six years spent at the place of sporting director of the best female and male club in Austria, and later on as director of the Austrian volleyball team. His arrival initiated positive changes in the House of volleyball in Zagreb. HAOK Mladost is slowly but surely stepping back to where it has always been, and where it belongs, it is a place holder of volleyball quality, not only in Zagreb but also in the whole of Croatia. The positive progress is emphasized by the fact that in season 2015./2016. and 2016./2017. HAOK Mladost participated with women and men in the composition of the European Cup, and with both teams in the Central European international competition - MEVZA Cup. It’s the World’s rarity that a sports club represents it’s city and state in four different European competitions.
For the successful functioning of the club it is important to have a strong organization; HAOK Mladost has a total of fifteen engaged trainers and two doctors / physiotherapists, statistics team, fitness trainers. In the training process of the younger age categories HAOK Mladost has nine coaches. Prof. Ph.D. Vladimir Janković, a doctor and volleyball coaching legend, is engaged as coordinator for the younger age categories and as coach for individual work with the greatest talents in the club from which all the great players and coaches all over the Europe learned volleyball lessons.
Today, HAOK Mladost’s players are the core of both the male and female national teams. Through different age selections and competitions in HAOK Mladost are 348 currently active girls and boys. This is certainly one of the biggest sports club in Croatia, especially when you take into account that is located in one place - in one sports hall.
In 2017. HAOK Mladost has finished a 2-years long project “Volleyball for everyone” in which volleyball sections were implemented in 5 primary schools in Zagreb aiming to promote volleyball as well as sport in general among youth (10-12 years) and to encourage them to involve themselves into sport. More than 200 kids were involved in this project.
Mladost is currently conducting project funded through Erasmus+ Sport Small collaborative partnerships. Project is called New training Program: „Health and injury prevention on hard surfaces for young athletes“ in the field of volleyball/HIPHURA where HAOK Mladost is coordinator, while KIF, who is one of partners in this project, is partner in HIPHURA project as well.
More about the club please find on haok-mladost.hr.