Sabina Topčić holds a MA degree in geography and works as a PR of the association Vedro from Zenica. The association focuses on the development and support of sport tourism and mountaineering. As soon as they started their activities, they attracted my attention, because they are somehow able to attract the interest of even persons that have not even considered mountaineering, because they are doing it in a fresh and modern way. Given the number of persons that joins their mountaineering tours, I believe that they managed to encourage many persons to hike and spend more time in nature.

Sabina Topčić:

Our association was established in 2013. Back then, a group of enthusiasts decided to initiate something that had not existed before in our town, to try to encourage persons to be active, to persuade them to embrace a healthy lifestyle, given the fact that we know what the situation is like in Zenica regarding pollution. We therefore took the first steps and analysing what would be the best way to implement it. We thus had the idea to organise tours, to publish that in the media. At first, everything started with the Internet, Facebook, of course. We invited persons. Those were mostly persons we were close with. However, as time passed, as we developed, the number of our members grew. Today, this is a completely different story, everybody knows ”Vedro”, the whole country, we are recognised everywhere, greeted and supported everywhere…

At ”Vedro”, there are two teams. One of them is the project team – a team that is actually in charge of administration, setting a basis for every tour, every idea. The second part is the extreme team. These are our trained guides that participate in various trainings on mountaineering, alpinism, guidance of groups, etc. They are in charge of examining the field, assessing it, and they are the ones that lead us during all these tours and are in charge of the safety of our participants.

This year, we also established the third part of our association. That is the group ”Zenica trči”. This initiative started with our first race that we organised and we are trying to additionally encourage the citizens of Zenica to engage in sports, to simply start embracing a healthier lifestyle. We were sorry that Zenica, such a big city, did not have its own marathon and routes, so that we are now working on building these paths, where we could run, and next year we would, of course, organise something bigger, marathons or night races. That is now our main focus.

Sabina told me about their plans and goals

Now the focus is on initiating the project related to running. We are trying to attract more young people. Our focus is mostly on secondary school students. This year, during the event ”Horizonti” the students of the medical secondary school went with us. They have their club, and several students came. We would like to include young people, because they have the best age for mountaineering. Our mountaineering clubs already have their members. These are people that have been hiking for years, and there is no need to attract them. We only need to publish an event, and they will come. However, young people are an issue. We are trying to attract them and motivate them to go with us and be our members, to simply encourage them to go the other way, to embrace health, not to think only about the present, but to also consider what they could achieve over the long term.

However, many young people have an issue – they do not dare go alone. All of them wait for some friends, for a group, but they actually need to go only once. We get to know one another so fast, friendships are born so fast in the mountain, it is really something incredible to experience.

Activities of this association can be found on their website http://www.vedro.ba or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/vedro.ba