Monika Janevik is a 22 years-old volleyball referee from Skopje, North Macedonia. She became a referee at the age of 19 and even though she is really young she is already very successful and has a lot of experience. She will next be part of the European Championship qualifiers which will take place in Serbia next month. She was also nominated for the Women in sport award and won the 3rd place as a female referee.

1. How long have you been playing sports and how did your sport story begin?

I started playing volleyball when I was 7 years old. However, as my father used to play volleyball when he was younger and is now the president of the women’s national volleyball team, I can say that I am part of this sport for much longer and for that I will forever be grateful to my father.

2. You are also a volleyball referee for a few years now. How it is like to be a female referee in North Macedonia?

For me being a female referee is a big challenge, as there are not a lot of women who have tried to become one, so it is also an honor for me to be one of the few who have succeeded.

3. Are there any difficulties for prosperity when it comes to women in sports in our country?

I, personally, haven’t encountered any difficulties so far, and I can also add that I have always had support from many older and more experienced colleagues and of course the Volleyball federation of North Macedonia.

4. Are there any prejudices and bigger differences in the treatment between male and female referees?

It doesn’t happen very often that a female referee presides over a match, especially when it comes to senior male teams where I can sense a dose of restraint in the verbal communication. However, speaking from my personal experience I can say that everyone respects me as a referee, and so far I haven’t had any bigger issues with the volleyball players and trainers.

5. Are there any differences in the treatment of female referees here and abroad?

According to me and my international experience I can say that there are no big differences between the female referees here and abroad.

6. What do female athletes and referees need more in our country?

We need more education, experience, self-confidence and determination to deal with the challenges on our way to success in this field.

7. What is missing for the promotion of female athletes and referees in North Macedonia?

I believe we need more attention from the media as well as being more present in it so that the general public gets more information about our activities and achievements as referees and athletes.

8. When it comes to sport where do you see yourself in the future?

As I am still young but really eager to be a successful referee I am going to educate myself and follow what is happening in the volleyball all around the world, and I really hope to one day achieve my dream and become the first international volleyball female referee in North Macedonia.

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