Meet the Petrinja Siblings Keeping the Spirit of Culture and Sports Alive

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Siniša Miholjević
Siniša Miholjević

“For the last few weeks, the whole world has been hearing and reading about the city of Petrinja as a whole, but we now need to draw closer attention to these two great Petrinjian symbols that have proudly helped put the city on the map. They have written many strong verses in Petrinja’s history, but now, with this unfortunate catastrophe occurring, their future is in doubt.”

TCN met with Iva Petračić to learn more about their cause. 

“Our family has always been in Petrinja. Our last name Petračić first appeared on the city fortress military unit lists at the beginning of the 17th century,” began Iva on their family’s connection to Petrinja. Iva, a medical student on her way to becoming a pediatric surgeon, is joined in the humanitarian action by sister Sanja, a consulting company director and certified auditor, and bother Tin, who works in kinesiology.


Siniša Miholjević

Iva was taking a shower after a long morning of exams when the earthquake rocked Petrinja on December 29, while Tin and Sanja were in Zagreb.

“Tin came to Petrinja an hour after the earthquake hit, and Sanja stayed in Zagreb with her kids. My mom Vesna and I went to Zagreb that afternoon after cleaning up the glass and everything that broke in the house,” Iva said. 

Their dad Miroslav and Sanja’s husband were in Petrinja every day for the week that followed. 

“We are all still in shock, but it’s getting better by the day. I moved to Split, and it still feels like the ground is shaking. A lot of noises remind you of that terrible earthquake sound, and chills run down your spine.

The street starts to shake every time a big truck passes, and that is a terrible feeling I never thought I’d be scared of,” Iva said of how she’s coping in the aftermath of the quake.  

Iva, Sanja, and Tin have now launched a humanitarian action, joined by the love of their Petrinja and everything it has to offer.

“We want to show that to everyone,” Iva added. 

But why the local wrestling club and children’s orchestra?

“The Petrinja Wrestling Club is an institution in the city, being the entry point and then springboard for many youngsters to take their first steps onto the mat, honing their skills further, to successfully competing at the highest levels. Their honors include winning six Croatian national championships and five in the former state. Alumni of the Petrinja Wrestling Club include Vlado Lisjak, the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics gold medal winner, and Milan Nenadić, the 1972 Munich Olympic Games bronze medalist as well as many other notable fighters at all levels, many of whom found things such as happiness, camaraderie, and self-discipline from its teachings,” Iva said. 




“Petrinja’s wind orchestra Gradska limena glazba is one of the oldest orchestras in the country – 213 years old. It has represented Petrinja both nationally and internationally and has become a fine symbol of our great city. Whether it be the clarinet, the french horn, the saxophone, or the good old trumpet, through the group, many children have been a part of learning and experiencing the wonder and joy that comes from being able to play an instrument. Despite existing in various forms and through different states and arrangements, the orchestra has never previously interrupted its work for a longer period of time than this.


We hope to help as much as we can to bring back these two amazing institutions. We have many children in the city, and we have to maintain the activities for them. We hope to raise as much as we can. Whatever amount we raise it’s going 50/50, to the wrestling club and the orchestra,” she continued. 


Iva said the response thus far has been good, but she knows they can do better. All media coverage is welcome as it helps people find their Facebook page or website. 

“Petrinja is an amazing city to grow up in; there is no hate, no bad looks when you walk down the street. Petrinja is a city of education, a city of sport. We have so much, and yet people have never heard about us. They all know about Gavrilović, but how many people know that Gavrilović is in Petrinja?

I really wish that after all of this, people will come to Petrinja and see all of its beauty first hand. And most importantly, do not forget about us,” Iva concluded. 

“Together, we now have the opportunity to rebuild their future and keep the eternal flames of culture and sports alive in Petrinja. From the reedy lull of an oboe to the cheer of the watching support, we are able to soothe the fears and help pep up the spirits of all these children. They are more than worthy of your kindness, and by donating, you become the good spirit of Petrinjska’s stucka.” – Iva, Sanja, and Tin. 

You can follow them on Facebook and donate on their website HERE.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.


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