Recreational sports association “Relax” always participates in Wings for Life World Run! These charming ladies from Zadar will be there on May 6 to make their contribution to the overall atmosphere of the race with their songs, laughter and positive energy.
If you are in Zadar for Wings for Life world Run and come across a group of local ladies who are cheerful and ready to meet new friends, sing songs and enjoy recreational activities, you will recognize them instantly – they are the “Relax ladies”, members of a recreational association that every town in Croatia could wish for. The association has 200 members and boasts a long tradition in promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Katja Pijaca, President of the Association remembers how it all started: “During the war and the bombings, we had our regular workout sessions and I think that’s what helped us most in those difficult times. In 1994 about 20 of us established the association called “Relax” and very soon, with membership constantly growing, became part of the Croatian recreational sports committee “Sports for everyone”. In 2019 she will have been the President of the Association for 25 years.
The whole project is non-commercial. The annual membership fee is 100 HRK and anyone can join and participate in regular corrective exercise sessions. They can also try Nordic running or engage in the traditional sports discipline called bocce.
“It took me a while to prove to women that recreational activities are not a waste of time, but a very important women’s need. Every woman should be able to take two hours for herself twice a week. We are trying to promote recreational activities and our lifestyle, even though some people find it strange. Some people believe that a woman should be with her husband and be a housewife, but if there’s a will, there’s a way to be both. Everybody knows who we are and when somebody mentions the “Relax ladies”, everyone knows about us and we keep on keeping on,” adds Pijaca, drawing attention to why a healthy lifestyle is important:
“A sedentary lifestyle is becoming predominant. More and more people spend their time on computers instead of socializing. We’re not social anymore, and we don’t move enough. Vascular disease, depression, back problems and obesity are on the rise. It’s all about prevention, and that’s what we do because it gets more difficult later when the problem is there. However, it’s not about leaving as soon as the workout session is over. We’re like a big family, we help each other and socialize after workouts.”
A “Relax lady” is cheerful, social and likes to meet new people. Every month our association participates in different events. We travel to different parts of Croatia and Europe on regular basis. In May, we participate in Wings for Life World Run, ever since the first race in Zadar.
“We arrive to the race venue two hours before the race. Then we make photos and sing some songs because we’re cheerful ladies. We always sings Dalmatian songs. We make jokes and it’s hard not to notice us. Very often we even get an applause because people can’t believe we still do that kind of stuff. All generations take part in the race and even though we are in the recreational zone at the start of the race, we’re sometimes faster than people much younger than us,” says Pijaca, who is very proud that about 70 of her colleagues, from all age groups, will take part in Wings for Life World Run 2018. A few years ago “Relax” had the oldest female runner in the global race – an 84-year-old Nevenka Benini. She was a living proof that it’s never too late for a healthy and active lifestyle.
"Everyone should experience Wings for Life World Run…the spirit, crowds of people and positive energy. You have to be positive when you there because that’s the only way you can be. If we can’t run, then we walk for those who can’t. It’s a combined effort,” says Katja Pijaca, who can’t wait for May 6…