Franja Academy 2017 exceeds expectation; more visitors, inspiring content
- October 17, 2017
- Posted by: Mark Koghee
- Category: Uncategorized
After 5 days full of lectures, discussions, workshops and presentations the second Franja Academy ended on Friday 13 October. The conference on cycling, culture and bike tourism took place in ABC Hub in BTC City in Ljubljana.
Highlights of Franja Academy 2017 were: excellent lectures, exchanges of best practices, solutions to connect cycling, cultural heritage and tourism, linking business and people from five European countries and the conclusion that the opportunities for the development of cycling tourism in Slovenia is still huge.
On the last day, prof. Janez Koželj, vice-mayor of the City of Ljubljana, mayor Miha Ješa of Škofja Loka and mayor of Roberto Felcaro of Cormons in Italy spoke at Franja Academy. Felcaro together with local partners from the Unione Italiana sport per tutti received the award for the best performed My Sport is Franja cycling event abroad. Gorazd Penko (director Marathon Franja) and Maja Oven (BTC City) gave the award which represented five free tickets to Marathon Franja BTC City. The Franja event in Cormons in May attracted the most participants of the four Franja events abroad.
Franja Academy 2017 featured no less than 38 speakers. Among them Jesus Freire (representative of the European Cycling Federation ECF), Fabio Gon (Italian Federation Amici della Bicicletta, member of the FIAB National Committee), Paco Wrolich (bike tourism coordinator for Carinthia), Christopher Enzi (Tourism Klagenfurt), Helena Hečimović (municipality of Koprvnica, Croatia), Miroslav Cerar (president of the Slovenian Olympic Committee), Tomaž Pavlin (Sport Museum of Slovenia), Peter Dakskobler (Odprimopoti.si), Dušan Strucl and Marko Lenarčič (Hiking and Biking Slovenia), Martin Čotar (Development Agency for Tourism Istra), Jana Jeglič (Development Information Center Slovenska Bistrica), Nataša Jurgec Gurnick (Ministry of Culture), Maša Ekar (Motivila) and Dijana Pita da Costa (Heritage Advisor).
Through videoconference, a live interview could be made with Amedeo Polito, the global event coordinator of L’Eroica. Politio presented the development of his event which is the biggest event in the world for vintage race bikes. L’Eroica also has a major impact on bike tourism in Tuscany in Italy.
Franja Academy is part of the two-year European project My sport is Franja and is supported with the Erasmus + program. The project is a cooperation of five partners: cycling club Rog from Ljubljana, Unione Italiana sport per tutti from Friuli-Venezia Giulia, the Sports Association of the Istrian Region, Sportunion Carinthia and the Slovak Cycling Federation. There were 34 representatives of the partner organizations at the conference. Partners also brought experts who gave their views on de development of bike tourism and connecting cultural heritage and cycling.
The representatives of the partners also visited Partisan Hospital Franja and they went on a bike tour in Ljubljana past the works of architect Plečnik.
New at Franja Academy 2017 was a bike exhibition. More than a hundred visitors were counted at the My Bike, My Heritage exhibition where visitors were taken on a trip through the history of (Slovenian) cycling with bikes, jerseys, pictures and videos. The exhibition visualized the cultural values and heritage of the sport of cycling, with an emphasis on Slovenia, cycling club Rog and Marathon Franja.
For many Slovenians, the name “Franja” represents more than just a sporting event; over time, the name has become a symbol of the Slovenian sports and folk culture. Powered by the spirit of Marathon Franja Samo Kofol and Mark Koghee designed this year’s Academy program.
The long-term goal of the My Sport is Franja project is that the name Franja becomes a recognizable name in sport in Europe. Anyone can express support for this by signing the petition “Signature for Franja”. With smartphone or on the website.