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About the Foundation

UniSport Heart

The Foundation was formed in 2023 by the Croatian Academic Sports Federation with the goal of fostering the development of student athletes in the Republic of Croatia.

The Croatian Academic Sports Federation (CASF) is one of the five umbrella sports organization in Croatia and is the only national sports federation dedicated to academic sports on the national level. The CASF has 22 members representing institutions of higher education in the Republic of Croatia. Since 2014, CASF developed a system of organization and competitions, as well as a system that provides support to student athletes on local, national and international levels which can be favourably compared to the most modern systems of academic sports in the world.

The Foundation’s name – UniSport Heart, draws its origins in the largest project undertaken by the Croatian Academic Sports Federation in Croatia thus far, the European Universities Games Zagreb-Rijeka 2016. The Games were held in the cities of Zagreb and Rijeka between July 12th and July 25th 2016 and gathered more than 5.000 participants hailing from 403 universities from 41 European nation, while the organization effort itself counted 1.441 volunteers. The European Universities Games were important to the Republic of Croatia on multiple levels, but at its core was the organizers vision and goal, embodied in the motto “Heart believes, mind achieves”. The Games represent a catalyst for change in Croatia’s academic sports, their legacy being a more developed system of academic sports, but also the idea of forming a foundation which would aid in the further development of student standards.

Manager of the UniSport Heart Foundation

Goran Šprem

Appearing 150 times as a member of the Croatian national handball team, winning a gold and two silver medals at World Championships and a gold medal at the Olympic and Mediterranean Games. As a member of the national team, he was awarded Croatia’s national award for sports “Franjo Bučar”. Following an incredible career as a handball player, both in the national team and in a sports club, Goran entered a successful business career and today holds the position of Executive Director of one of the leading regional tourist service companies.

“I did not hesitate for even a second whether or not to participate in this project after my friends from the Croatian Academic Sports Federation presented the idea of the Foundation. Sports help build up youths for the adult world, teaching them hard work and invaluable skills such as teamwork. All these skills ultimately serve in a career in business and it is my belief that the synergy between the educational system and sports is something worth investing in. I wish to point out that amateur, recreational sports form the foundation of Croatian sports. It is through the development of recreational sports programmes that we can build a better society and I am confident that the Foundation will, through its work, foster such projects and, with it, play a crucial role in linking education and sports.”

Foundation vision

  • Encouraging the study of student-athletes at higher education institutions in the Republic of Croatia by providing scholarships. Paying a part of the study costs or the costs of training or going to competitions.
  • Improvement of education, science, technological development and sports in the Republic of Croatia by encouraging the development of dual careers.
  • Supporting the development of academic sports through co-financing of academic sports projects of Foundation members.

Foundation activities

To secure financial and other support and assistance to student athletes, projects and programmes that foster the development of dual careers.

Promote education and technological development in
the Republic of Croatian

Promote student

Organize conferences, seminars, workshops, lectures, educational courses, round table discussions, etc.

Foundation bodies

  • Board of Directors – Tonći Jerak, Toni Gamulin, Marko Žunić
  • Foundation Manager – Goran Šprem

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