Rector’s Sports Day is a long tradition, a day where students from all of the Charles University faculties come together in teams or as an individual and compete in various sports competitions. This year there were 26 sports for the students to chose from, from well know sports, such as football and basketball to lesser known ones, two of which I had never heard of, Underwater Rugby and Kan-Jam Frisbee.
As an avid sports fan I was thrilled to be asked to attend the 2013 Rector’s Sports Day on Thursday 16th May. This year it was organised by the Department of Physical Education at the Faculty of Science and for the first time Erasmus teams were asked to enter and compete, and as Erasmus student myself I wanted to come down to show my support!
The Erasmus football team that entered the Rector’s Sports Day was called A-Team. It was a team of Spanish and Italian students from the Faculty of Law, Faculty of Science and Faculty of Social Science (Francisco Seco de Herrera y Sáchez, Jose María Segovia de la Colina, Juan Rodrigo Ross Gomez, Javier Gómez Bravo and Antonio Messore). Football is the A-Team’s favourite sport, and all of the team play it regularly in their home countries.
While watching the football tournament I also had the pleasure of meeting Jan Zachař from Department of Physical Education in the Faculty of Science, who organised the football competition. When asked if this was a demanding post to take up he responded: “The football tournament is one of the biggest and most demanding on the organisation team. We had to organise about 200 students participating in the football matches on Rector’s Sports Day. It’s good to see the enthusiasm and interest of participants in the football competition, even after the introduction of many other sports to Rector’s Sports Day. A negative is that sometimes the students can be irresponsible and register a team, but on the day not turn up, which causes more work for myself and the other teams participating – this year two teams, one Czech and one Erasmus, did not show up on the day, and failed to let us know in advance. “
Luckily the football tournament then went ahead without any other major hiccups, and although the Erasmus A-Team were not successful in winning the competition this year, I would like to congratulate all the players on taking part.
An Erasmus team also participated in the basketball competition. Their team was called Hvězda and the members of the team were Domingo David Carrasco Lopez, José Miguel Ramírez Aranda, Álvaro Carrión Torrente, Tommasso Croese and Esther Oliver Alejos, originally from Spain and Italy, at Charles University in Prague hosted by Faculty of Education, Faculty of Science, 2nd Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Social Sciences. All but one of the players played basketball previously at their home universities, playing on average three times a week since a young age. However they have not play as often on their Erasmus year and as they were a new team they had to get used to each other’s strengths and weaknesses on the court. Although not successful in winning the basketball competition watching them on court it looked like they had great fun competing!
The volleyball competition was another huge success on the day. However this was not held at Hostivař sports centre, but instead at Albertov in Prague 2. Unfortunately, as I could not be able to be in two places at once I was not able to watch the Erasmus team in action; nevertheless I was told our Erasmus team did very well. All of the Erasmus volleyball players were from the Faculty of Social Science. The team consisted of 4 boys from Germany and 1 girl from Denmark (Ida Dalsjö, Julian Kasten, Felix Klatt, Gottfried Haufe, and Jonas Kibitzki). Well done to the Erasmus volleyball team, I wish I could have been there to see you in action.
Unfortunately the underwater rugby competition did not go ahead, which was a shame as I was very much looking forward to seeing this sport in action. I have seen rugby before, but as I found out this was not much help as underwater rugby has little in common with regular rugby except for the name. However the organiser of this event, Tomáš Brtník from Faculty of Law, was kind enough to explain the rules and show me the equipment that the teams use. Underwater rugby is played in a pool with a depth of 3.5m to 5m and goals at the bottom of the pool. Two teams, each with six, try to score a goal. It is a fast and can be an exhausting game. The ball may be passed in any direction but must not leave the water. The ball is heavy as it is filled with salt water and therefore it can move about 2m or 3m before water resistance stops it. This makes good tactics and positioning essential. Strength, speed and mobility are essential skills needed to become a good player of underwater rugby.
If, like me you are intrigued to see this sport in action, click on the YouTube link below where I have found a video of a game of underwater rugby being played:
Although not being able to see an underwater rugby game was a disappointment, I was lucky enough to see Kan-Jam played, a sport I had never heard of before coming to Prague. Kan-Jam is a flying disc game, played with a flying disc and two cans in which you deflect the disc into the can. Kan-Jam was created in the 1980s by Charles Sciandra and Paul Swisher in Buffalo, New York, originally being called "Trash Can Frisbee". The object of the game is to score points by throwing and deflecting the flying disc and hitting or entering the goal. The game ends when a team scores exactly 21 points or the disc for an instant win.
It was really fun seeing this unusual interesting sport played. There were two Erasmus students who attended the Kan-Jam event, Nicolas Montgomery Hall (from University of Aachen) and Milla Elisa Viljanen (from University of Helsinki), both hosted by 1st Faculty of Medicine in Prague. They came 2nd in the tournament, this being the best result from the Erasmus teams on the day, so a big well done to both Nicolas and Milla!
If you fancy giving this fun but unusual sport a go or just want to find out more information on Kan-Jam Frisbee click the hyperlink to visit the official website of the sport.
I would like to congratulate all the participants in this year’s Rector’s Sports Day, and a special well done to the Erasmus students in their participation, and the Rector himself who took part in the cycling competition. Also a massive thank you to all the organisers like Jan Zachař, as without these individuals the sports day would not be able to take place.
To see results from all the sport competition from this year Rector’s Sports Day click on Rector’s Sports Day.