Twenty-six years of the Slovak School Sport Association
The Slovak School Sport Association was founded almost Twenty-six years ago on the initiative of a large number of physical education teachers and with the support of the then Ministry of Education of the Slovak republic. It all started on 3rd July, 1991 at the founding congress in Bratislava, with the hope that the newly-founded civil association “will soon become an essential part of our physical training and sports movement by developing a good quality of voluntary work for the benefit of children and the youth”.
We did it! The Slovak School Sport Association quickly became a stable member of the wide spectrum of entities relating to physical culture in Slovakia. The results we have achieved are due to the huge efforts of hundreds of fans of school sports, their hard work and self-sacrifice.
We are one of the most consolidated
The supreme body of the SSSA is the congress, which meets (according to a statute) once a year, while the electoral congress is held every four years. In between the individual congresses, the SSSA is governed by the directorate which works according to a plan and usually meets every two months. The executive structure also includes the secretariat, field sections (they manage competitions in individual sports) and professional commissions – Technical commissions, Fair play commission and others. In every region and district there are regional and district clubs of the SSSA.
During its history,, the SSSA has had five presidents – Mr. Ján Gabryš, Mr.Jozef Bartík,Mr. Milan Rybanský,Mr. Ján Chladný , Mr. Anton Javorka and Mr.Marian Majzlík, the present time president. . Mr. František Chmelár and Mr. Anton Javorka both served as vice presidents and Mrs. Marta Dančíková was secretary general. The post of the present ime secretary general is held by Ms.Andrea Ristová.
We could say that currently the SSSA is one of the most consolidated entities on the Slovak scene of physical education.
Rare in Europe
One of the most significant accomplishments of the Slovak School Sport Association surely is the establishment of an integrated and, in Europe, rare system of school sport competitions, which is annually updated in the CALENDAR OF SCHOOL SPORTS COMPETITIONS in he SLOVAK REPUBLIC, published by the SSSA and the Ministry of Education. The calendar has been evolved and improved throughout the years. At the moment, it comprises1 6 sports competitions divided into two age categories – primary school pupils and secondary school students.
The number of those taking part in sports competitions is high and rises every year. In the school year of 1992/93, 116,010 young sportsmen got involved in the district, regional and national rounds. while at the present time they number about a quarter million. These numbers, however, do not include competitions on school levels and various regional events, or students taking part in sports competitions organized by other bodies.
Member of ISF from the very beginning
The Slovak School Sport Association has been maintaining successful international contacs, too It has been a full member of the International School Sport Federation since 1991 and plays an active role by working in its bodies and committees.For such a small country, as Slovakia undoubtedly is, our organization is represented in the ISF structures by a relatively large number of people – from Vladimír Grieger through Jozef Bartík to the foursome of Technical Committee members/ Ján Dančík, Alexander Harna, Roman Králik and Rastislav Behančin ). The most prominent position belonged to the late Jozef Bartík, who during his term of. SSSA presidency, served also as ISF vice-president . The Slovak schoolsportsmen are motivated mainly by attending international school sports competitions – in athletics, football, basketball, volleyball, handball, table tennis, swimming, skiing, orienteering and cross-country racing, badminton and floorball. The World Schoosl Championship isregularly held every two years and Slovak school sports are represented by teams or individuals who qualify from national competitions or individual qualifications.
The first delegation representing the SSSA and the Slovak schoolspor tcomprised cross-country runners in Albufeira(Portugal) in 1992,who took 4th place in the girls and 5th place in the boys competition. In the same year (11-18.4.1992 ) the Handball World School Championship was staged in Hadersleve(Denmark ) where the Hlohovec based Gymnázium´s girls team finished in 7th place and the SPŠ Martin boys team took 8th place .Another significant event attended by Czechoslovak boys and girls were the 1.European Schools Games, held in Caen,France,(2-8.7.1992). During the 25-year history of the SSSA a large number of national selections representing the Slovak schoolsport has been set up.
When sending their representatives abroad, the Slovak School Sport Association pays great attention to social behaviour – good manners, a polite attitude, respecting the priciples of Fair-play andl presentation of cultural life in Slovakia. Remarkable sporting achievements of our athletes make us feel happy too.. Throughout the history of the SSSA, Slovak school sportsmen have won 20 gold, 20 silver and 36 bronze medals. The following individual sportsmen and teams have succeeded in stepping on to the highest level of the podium and listen to the Slovak National Anthem:
Gymnasiade-Caen,France (2. - 8.7.1992)
OŠG Bratislava-boys athletics
OŠG Trenčín- girls athletics and boys swimming
Gymnázium Kežmarok-girls volley-ball
Jean Humbert Cup-Alba,Italy (24.30.61993 )
ŠG Banská Bystrica-boys
ISF WSC Skiing-Collingwood, Canada (7 -13.3.1993)
OŠG Banská Bystrica- boys and girls cross-country skiing, girls downhill skiing
Gymnasiade- Cyprus (14 -21.5.1994 )
Miriam Mašeková-400m track
Dana Hornáková—swimming, 200m medley
Jean Humbert Cup – Banská Bystrica,Slovakia( June,1995 )
Boys Slovak National Team
ISF WSC Skiing- Tarvisio, Italy (26.2.-3.3.)
OŠG Banská Bystrica –boys and girls cross-country skiing
Gymnasiade- Athens, Greece (2006 )
Alexandra Štuková-400m, track
ISF WSC Orienteering – Pezinok, Slovakia (2006 )
ISF WSC Basketball-Pau, France (6-16.4.2008 )
Gymnázium Š.Moyzesa, Ružomberok - girls
ISF WSC Handball- Braga,Guimares, Portugal (19-27.3.2010)
Business Academy based in Považská Bystrica- boys
ISF WSc Basketball 3X3,- Tallin, Estonia ( 16-21.6.2016 )
St.Vincent de Paul´s Private School, Levice – girls
The Children and Youth´s Olympiad, termed Kalokagatia in Trnava as well as the Winter Kalokagatia in the Spiš region are examples of fruitful international contacts.These significant sports events have been attended by boys and girls from Poland, Germany, Hungary, the Czech republic,Austria, Belorussia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosna and Herzegovina,Ukraine and Switzerland. Reciprocal exchanges were made on a regular basis with Germany, where swimmers and skiers represented the Slovak Schoolsport.The year 2007 saw the beginning of a new era of international activities the SSSA entered with the start of the Slovak Youth Deputationˇs Message to the Bejing Olympic Games in Piešťany, where delegates of Schoolsport organizations of the V4 countries met for the first time. One of the Projects, resulting from this meeting, is the idea of an International League among the V4 countries, which was initiated by the historically first international meeting in schoolsport- boys and girls´ teams from the Czech republic and Slovakia met in a four-match event.
Apart from the comprehensive system of promotional school competitions and the regular participation of Slovak students in events abroad, the most significant organization of schoolsport in Slovakia can boast a whole array of other projects, which are part of the system of competitions or complete it.
Calocagatia – the most precious jewel
In 1991 in the city of Trnava, the ancient Greek idea of calocagatia was once again revived. The idea expresses the connection of physical perfection with mental beauty and human kindness. Apart from other things, it is also represented by the Olympiad of children an youth – CALOCAGATIA. It first took place globally in Slovakia in 1992, comprising fifteen sporting and five cultural competitions. The premiere was so successful that the Children and Youth´s Olympiad now takes place every two years, and always in the year of the Olympic games.
The importance of CALOCAGATIA is underlined by the fact that in 1994 it was held under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee and in 2000 Mr. Jacques Rogge, the president of IOC, attended the opening ceremony of the games.
Since 1996, young sportsmen from abroad have been coming to Trnava and since 1998 its winter counterpart has regularly been organized in Spišská Nová Ves. The preparation of this significant event is interwoven with the work of the Calocagatia association in Slovakia and also closely connected with the Slovak Olympic Movement, represented by the Slovak Olympic Committee.
“I am delighted by what I saw and encountered in Trnava. What the ancient Greeks achieved, has not yet been surpassed. Despite the passing centuries, the idea of calocagatia remains a goal. It appears in front of us over and over again and it tempts us to reach it. I am glad that the idea of calocagatia is still alive also thanks to the enthusiasts in Slovakia.
Europe is aging. I see the future in the young. We have to concentrate on them more than ever. Your CALOCAGATIA has all the necessary preconditions to it.”
Jacques Rogge, President of IOC
GAUDEAMUS IGITUR – „Let us be happy!.
The peculiarity of the first Children and Youthˇ Olympiad, termed Calokagatia in 1992 was the fact that the competitions targeted two age categories-boys and girls from basic and secondary schools. The event scheduled this way was rather demanding from the organizational point of view. That is why the organizers decided to split the single event into two olympiads – for basic schools in even and for secondary schools in odd years. While the basic schools´Calokagatia turned out as scheduled, the one for the secondary schools failed to succeed. The first unsuccessful attempt to resume it was back in 1992. It was finally renewed in 2007 at the instigation of Tibor Mikuš, the then chief of the Trnava Self-governing Region. In this way, a new event was born, termed „Gaudeamus Igitur“.
School employees are not forgotten either
Since the very beginning, the Slovak School Sport Association has been trying to introduce various incentives for those who are responsible for organizing school competitions and other events for primary and secondary school students. And so the SSSA has gradually evolved from occasional activities to an integrated system of sporting competitions for school employees.
The culmination of these efforts were the 1st Olympiad of School Employees in Nitra. The representatives of school teams from all Slovak regions met in the city under the peak of Zobor so they could establish a new tradition by taking part in fair play sports competitions. Because of the sporting and social success of the event, other towns soon followed – Trenčín, Komárno, Banská Bystrica, Piešťany, while Trnava and Spišská Nová Ves have held the event twice.
Then an undesired pause followed .On the 25th anniversary of the founding of the SSSA, the School employees´ Olympiad was resumed and held in Dunajská Streda.
School FAIR PLAY Trophy
One of the pillars of CALOCAGATIA is the fact that the SSSA has always considered it to be not just a single event, but a permanent pursuit of FAIR PLAY principles, not only on sports fields but also in every day lives of young sportsmen.
Although it is hard to measure, the fruits of the fifteen -year-old effort are visible. It is confirmed by numerous examples of students’ noble behaviour and also by the movement called “School collective of FAIR PLAY”, but especially by the results of the “School FAIR PLAY Trophy”. Its laureates, both teachers and students – are regularly awarded in the year of the Olympic Games on the occasion of CALOCAGATIA. The Fair Play Trophy is given for a noble act of sportsmanship both on and off the sports field and for a long standing pedagogical activity accompanied by attitudes and actions in the spirit of Olympic ideals. Many of those recognized have been proposed to receive the award of the Slovak Olympic Committee.
Further activities of the SSSA
The School of the year: the competition of activity of primary and secondary schools in Slovakia, the three supporting pillars of which are: participation, educationl and performance. Part of the School of the year evaluation is also giving the sportsman of the year title in 2 categories.
School days of sports: distance competitions in sports disciplines with simple rules. (skipping, ABC of a football player, Festival of penalty shoot out) A relatively independent part of the „School Days of Sports“is The Memorial of Mária Zavarská: a national competition in endurance relay: boys 10 x 1 km, girls 5 x 80
Champions League: unusual football competition for school teams named afer top European clubs.
Football cup: national competition in small footbal originallyl in three age categories at the present time only for upper level basic schol boys and girls, which up to 2017 carried the project partner´s name –Jednota.
Schoolsport Magazine-Tokyo 2020
A monthly magazine of school sports and Olympic education. The title is derived from the city hosting the upcoming summer Olympic Games (previously it was Atlanta 1996, Sydney 2000, Athens 2004,Bejing 2008, London 2012 and Rio de Jeneiro 2016).
The system of educational activitiesbelongs to the main tasks of the SSSA. Since 2009, when the SSSA´s executive board adopted a resolution- active development of educational programs under the terms of the SSSA, we have completed a relatively wide selection of formal and informal educational activities.
Accredited education of experts in sports in line with the unified educational system in sport continual education of teachers
Unaccredited education targeting new kinds of sports, providing the youth a wide variety of activities in their spare time, healthy life-style.
Programme of the „Olympic Education“, under the terms of the SSSA, part of which is the „Big Olympic Quiz“, named “ My best memory“.