Capacity Building of the Perun Biking Club from Niksic – April & May 2008

Following the decision of the National Tourism Organization to pilot some of the projects related to hiking and biking in the municipality of Niksic; CSTI has conducted a project that aims to capacity build the cycling club from Niksic - Perun - in order to create a group of motivated professionals that could be used as the resource for the future development of cycling tourism in Montenegro.

It is very important to stress that this project should be treated just as a first step in a lasting attempt that will follow in the next 3 years.

The Niksic cycling club "Perun" has several very motivated participants, and is one of the 3 strongest clubs in Montenegro; but compared to widely accepted Central European standards, Montenegro's cycling clubs are seriously lagging behind - they lack membership, know-how and financial resources. Therefore CSTI identified some steps that would enable Perun to become visible in its own municipality and lobbied local institutions to support the club. The whole activities were timed before and related to the competition that was hosted by Perun, but the steps that led to the final competition included several very important activities, among them preparation of a cycling trail on Trebjesa, cleaning up Trebjesa Hill, promotional activities related to the competition/race, as well as organization of the competition. Almost all the activities were conducted by volunteers from the cycling club.

Niksic Trebjesa Start of the Race Niksic Trebjesa Mountbiking Competition Niksic Trebjesa the End of the Race

In order to promote safety, CSTI donated 20 helmets for club members and in order to stress the need to make the clubs self-reliant, CSTI donated 5 bicycles to the club for the creation of the initial bike-pool that could be rented to tourists or used by members who would be trained to become guides.

The race was held on 11 May. During the race CSTI met with several parents from the Perun board, as well as 2 representatives of the business community and discussed the importance of strengthening the club. Although the National Tourism Organization perceives this club as one of the important steps in developing activity tourism, the parents and business sector are more focused on the importance of sports in relation to prevention of undesirable behavioural patterns in the youth population and particularly drug prevention (this aspect was not perceived by NTO or CSTI and should be also considered during the future raising awareness and promotional events).