Culture and sports in Zelenika

The ensemble “Bokelji”

The ensemble “Bokelji”, the first klapa in Montenegro, was founded in Zelenika in July 1966. The ensemble existed for 35 years, until 2001, and its regular members were: Dragan Rakic, Zdravko Vuksanovic, Dusko and Lazar Seferevic, Milivoj Peruskovic and Stanko Macura. In addition to the original, permanent lineup, many others performed in the ensemble over the years. At the beginning, a mandolin orchestra of Music School students also performed with the ensemble.
“Bokelji” have held over 1200 concerts, both in the region and all over Europe, and even reached the famous Moscow concert hall “Tchaikovsky” in 1981, where they performed with Gertruda Munitic, the prima donna of Sarajevo Opera. They have also performed at Eurovision and Intervision.”
They participated in numerous festivals throughout Yugoslavia, including the most prestigious regional vocal group festival in Omiš, and performed three times at the World Tourism Fair in Berlin. They were also part of the program at the Winter Olympic Games in Sarajevo in 1984.
They also performed for the Danish queen Margrethe and, on several occasions, for Josip Broz Tito and Jovanka Broz.
The ensemble recorded 19 independent television shows, three LP records, two singles, several audio cassettes and CDs, and also recorded an LP record and three TV shows about Herceg Novi and the Bay of Kotor with one of the greatest music stars of Yugoslavia, Tereza Kesovija. (Lazar Seferovic, Znameniti Novljani u svijetu muzike, Herceg Novi 2015, p. 154-6.)

The members of the ensemble, Lazar and Dusan Seferevic, wrote a monograph about it titled “The Sagas of the Bokelji Ensemble”.
Their song “Zeleničke tihe vale” (Gentle waves of Zelenika) is an unofficial anthem of Zelenika.
In honor of “Bokelji,” Zelenika was awarded a commemorative plaque and a memorial bench in 2022.

The folklore group “Ilija Kišić”

Source: Facebook page of the folklore group Ilija Kišić

The folklore group “Ilija Kišić” was founded in 1936 under the name “Polet”. The founder of the society was the teacher and future war hero Ilija Kisić, the first choreographer was Vjera Čukvas, and the music ensemble and choir Kut – Zelenika was led by Aleksandar Leso-Čukvas. (Lazar Seferović, Znameniti Novljani u svijetu muzike, Herceg Novi 2015, p. 178)

The current name, in honor of the founder Ilija Kisić, has been used since 1968.

The society experienced a particular rise with Ilija Preočanin and choreographer Branko Jablan, while its greatest successes were achieved from 1990 under the choreographer Vlado Ožegović, at the folklore festivals, at Vukov sabor in Tršić, Brankovi dani in Sremski Karlovci, and at the Smederevo autumn festival. The folklore group has performed in several joint and separate TV shows. (ibid.)

They have participated in a number of regional and international folklore festivals and have received a number of awards and recognitions, among which it is particularly worth mentioning the “October Award” of Herceg Novi for 1998.

Today, the club operates through three ensembles and gathers more than 100 active members.

For more photos, visit the Facebook page of the folklore group Ilija Kišić

Kyokushinkai Karate Club

The karate club, based in Kuti, is engaged in Kyokushin Kaikan (Jap. Society of Ultimate Truth) karate, a type of karate with full contact. The school started operating in Bijela in 1981. The founder is Joko Krivokapic, a Bijela native who practiced this type of karate in the Netherlands and earned a black belt there. Since 1987, the school has grown into the “Bijela” club, which was one of the most successful karate clubs in Montenegro in classical karate until 1996, and from 1997, the most successful Kyokushinkai karate club in Yugoslavia. Since 1992, there has also been a Kyokushinkai karate club in Herceg Novi. Since 2006, the clubs have been unified, with a training ground at the cultural center in Bijela. Since 2022, the headquarters of the Kyokushinkai karate club is at the Spiritual Center of St. Cyril and Methodius in Kuti-Zelenika. 

The most successful members of the club are Filip Kovacevic, junior vice champion of the world and the best athlete of Herceg Novi in 2014; Djordje Pesikan, junior vice champion of the world in 2017; Jelica Golubović, bronze medalist at the World Championships in 2012; Darko Boroje, bronze medalist at the World Championships in 2014; Milan Jovanov, international master and world champion for 2022, now a coach of the Serbian national team; Stefan Perišić, international master; the late Jovan Kosać, international master; Nataša Vujicic, international master; Nikola Begović, international master; Željko Bošković, international master; Igor Pesikan, international master and Dragan Pesikan, multiple international master, coach of the Yugoslav national team since 1994, and head coach since 2001.

Football in Zelenika


The first football club in Zelenika, FK Obilić, was formed in 1924. Their stadium was Obilića poljana. The club had blue jerseys. The club’s activity was interrupted by World War II. After the war, the club Radnički was formed instead of Obilić. Matches were played at the military stadium in Kumbor. The club was disbanded in 1948. In the same year, a new club called “Obalac” was formed. Again, the matches were played at Obilića poljana. The club existed under difficult conditions until 1952.

After almost thirty years of Zelenica clubs, it was time for a local one. A football club “Mladost” was formed in Kuti. Completely amateur, the club had no management, coach, or captain, and was extinguished as early as 1958. Soon the same-named club was formed in Zelenika. At first, they played at Obilića poljana, but later had to move to Kumbor due to the construction of a school and warehouse.

In Kuti, in the year 1960, the football club “Polet” was formed. A more serious club than Mladost. Immediately upon its establishment, the club was registered. The team began to establish itself as one of the higher-quality teams in Boka. After a decade of playing on Kuti’s fields, at the end of 1971, the club finally got a proper stadium – Opačica. The stadium was inaugurated in early December 1971. At that time, Yugoslav national team player and Europe’s best left winger, Dragan Dzajic, was recovering in Igalo. Dzajic, who trained on the Polet’s pitch during his recovery, had the honor of taking the ceremonial kick before the first match. Polet won that first match against Grbalj from Radanovici, with a score of 2:1. Polet competed for the first time in the southern region (a lower regional league) in the 1971/72 season. The season ended with a fairly high 3rd place finish. The following year, Polet finished with an even better placement. Specifically, they were in 2nd place. In 1973, Polet merged with the Kumbor-based “Torpedo” and has since played under the name “Orjen”. Under the new name, Orjen became the champion of the Southern region three times.¹

PVK Galeb

PVK Galeb (Water Polo and Swimming Club) was founded on May 18th, 1956. The first coach of the club was Svetozar Seferovic, and the first president was Milivoj Vujnovic. In the same year, they played their first match against the Military Post Meljine team, which had some first-league players who were serving their military service there. The first goal ever scored by the club was by Mirko Kisic, while the first goal in the Montenegrin League was scored by Rade Radulovic.

Galeb won their first championship title in 1972, ahead of Primorje from Kamenari and Neptune from Tivat.

The following year, they once again won the championship title ahead of Primorje from Kamenari. After that, Galeb won the championship title four more times, for a total of six times.

The most successful year in the history of the club was 1995. That year, they won the Montenegrin championship title with the maximum number of points, and they also became the amateur champions of Yugoslavia for the first time. The team was led by the coach Lazar Vuksanovic, who had just a year earlier, as an active player won the Montenegrin championship title and the Second League, and was the vice-champion of the SR Yugoslavia.²

Basketball in Zelenika

Zelenika currently does not have a basketball club, but there used to be the OKK Zelenika. The club was formed in 1985 on the initiative of young players from Zelenika who played in Primorje. The main initiators were Jovica Maslan and Dragan Vico. The first coach of the club was Sasa Ogurlic, the first president was Savo Morovic, and the first secretary was Ljubo Maslan.

The original team of OKK Zelenika consisted of: Ivica Miljevic, Krsto Vuksanovic, Jovica Maslan, Dragan Bakoc, Ljubo Bakoc, Slobodan Popovic, Davor Milic, Ilija Kovacevic, Boris Ozrinic, Drasko Tripkovic, Jovica Gudeljevic, and Zoran Curcic.

After its establishment, in the 1985/86 season, they competed in the second league of Montenegro. They won first place and entered the first league, where they stayed for two years. Then they dropped to the second league and later to the South Region league. Due to financial difficulties, the club ceased to exist at the end of the 1989/90 season. In the last two years of its existence, the club was led by Milan Dabovic.


Now there are two basketball schools in Zelenika. One of them is led by former OKK Zelenika player Ilija Kovacevic, who is also the founder and coach. The school was established in 2014 and has seen hundreds of boys and girls pass through it, not only from Zelenika and Kuti but also from Kumbor and Djenovici. For three years, they provided competitive teams in the younger categories for KK Primorje. Currently, the school gathers around fifteen children between the ages of 6 and 11.


¹Nedeljko Kočetanović “Od Obilića do Orjena – 80 godina fudbala u Zelenici” Zelenika, 2005. godine

²Nedeljko Kočetanović “Vaterpolo klub Galeb Zelenika: 50 godina vaterpola u Zelenici : 1956-2006,”, Zelenika 2006