Natasa attended the Department of Sports and Kinesiology at the University of Belgrade and after one year, became the National Senior Champion of Yugoslavia. This was the beginning of an outstanding journey which included 13 first place finishes as the National Senior Champion and 14 Championships in the Province of Serbia. Natasa placed 1st in all these competitions as the all-round champion, and placed 1st in many of the individual events.
She was selected to compete in over 100 international competitions, which include:
- 2 Olympics: 1968, 1972
- 3 World Championships: 1966, 1970, 1974
- First World Cup, where she finished 4th all round and 3rd in the floor exercise
- World Student Games: FISU 1965
She also participated in many multi-national regional competitions and was awarded with over 30 medals:
- 4 European Championships: 1965, 1967, 1971, 1973
- Mediterranean Games: 1971
- 3 Balkan Games: 1969, 1971, 1973
Natasa was well known as one of the best gymnasts in the world.
Natasa has been involved in Ontario Gymnastics as a judge at the highest level of qualification (FIG BREVET). It is just one of the many roles in which she has functioned throughout her Gymnastics career, at International, National, Provincial and Club competitions.
At York University, where she coached the Varsity team, she encouraged all students to study the Judicial Code-of Points. Many of them continued to judge after graduating from University to the benefit of Ontario Gymnastics.
Natasa has received several awards for her work some of which include:
- Coach of the year: Coaching York University Varsity team
- Honour of the Hall of Fame, received from the York University Phys Ed Department
- Silver Plaque from FIG, women’s technical committee for designing compulsory exercise on the Balance beam.
Natasa spent countless days visiting schools to assist teachers run after school gymnastics programs. She also made countless visits to Ontario gymnastics clubs to help coaches, whenever she was invited. She was also involved in training camps organized by Gymnastics Ontario.
Natasa’s involvement in coaching gymnastics in Ontario started in 1967. That year she was invited by York University in Toronto to be a coach at the 1st National Canadian Gymnastics Seminar and Training Camp. This was the first time that participants, coaches, and gymnasts, were invited from all Canadian provinces. This event was run over 3 weeks, for 3 different levels (one week each):
- Level 1 – Young talented gymnasts from clubs
- Level 2 – Provincial level competitive gymnasts
- Level 3 – Advanced gymnasts which competed at a National level
All gymnasts were joined with their own personal coaches in the capacity to observe and help. The coaches were provided with a variety of lectures for their own learning and education.
This was the first Pilot program for Coach Certification for gymnastics in Canada. After this successful start, a similar approach was implemented in other sports across Canada, which came to be the “Canadian Coaching Certification Program” for all sports.
Natasa continued to coach and teach gymnastics at York University. After a few years of experience, York University offered Natasa a full-time position coaching the Varsity Women’s Gymnastics Team. She continued in this capacity for the next 20 years. During this time the Varsity team enjoyed great success, winning the Ontario – OWIAA Championships 9 times and the Canadian National Championships (CIAU) 3 times.
Parallel with coaching the York University Women’s’ Varsity Team, Natasa was teaching regular academic courses in gymnastics for all Physical Education students.
During this period of 50 years of teaching she taught between 2500 – 3000 students, who then taught gymnastics in many schools throughout Ontario.
In addition, Natasa was running gymnastics Continuing Education courses at Queens University. These courses were offered to Phys Ed Teachers who did not have gymnastics at the University they graduated. This was an extra boost and introduction to gymnastics for all children in Ontario schools.