Czech Sokol - 150 years in Motion
Interview with Hana Mouckova, President of the Czech Sokol Organization
Your slogan for the celebration is “150 years in Motion”. What does this slogan indicate?”
Hana Mouckova, President of the Czech Sokol Organization: Joy of movement, satisfaction from belonging together with such a large community of people with similar interests, with similar life values. The XVth All-Sokol Slet , which will be held in July at the football stadium In Prague - Vrsovice and which will be the top of our celebrations, is not only a matter of those days. There will be many district and regional Slets, many sports and cultural events in many places of our republic. Unforgettable experience will be the marching parade through the centre of Prague, beautiful will be performance of the opera Prodana Nevesta by Bedrich Smetana performed by Sokol theatre ensembles , stage compositions in Tyrsuv dum and on other places in the city.
“Czech Sokol Organisations has existed during many and difficult political systems. What made it possible for the Czech Sokol Organisations to continue its work for 150 years?”
Hana Mouckova, President of the Czech Sokol Organization: The totalitarian regimes were not against the sports activities in Sokol, the general philosophy of Sokol was dangerous to them, its democratic principles, the education to patriotism, care for all round development of the members, principles of antique Kalokagathie, its humanistic ideals. Sokol educated its members to social, racial nationalistic and religious tolerance…
Therefore, after communist revolution in 1948 when Sokol was gradually cancelled and prohibited the Sokols who emigrated abroad founded the Centre of Sokols Abroad which allied Sokols in Western Europe, America and Australia. This organization kept Sokol ideal alive. They organized Sokol Slets in various venues of the world (7 Slets between 1962 – 1990) but mainly carried out their every day activities. Thanks to them Sokol survived and also today the Sokols from many countries play an important role in Sokol movement.
“Celebrating 150 years of anniversary naturally makes you look back on a long history of the organisation. However, it is also a good platform to consider the visions for the future. What are the vision and core mission of Czech Sokol Organisations in today’s Czech Republic ?”
Hana Mouckova, President of the Czech Sokol Organization: The ideas and life philosophy born 150 years ago are in their essence still alive and present and should address the younger generations , too. The membership base of about 180,000 people of all ages it proves. Our history is really great, Sokol played an irreplaceble role in the history on the nation. Moreover Sokols themselves built up the unique network of Sokol gym halls – “Sokolovny”, many Sokols lost their lives in the struggle for freedom and democracy. Our task and mission is to develop all that heritage but mainly develop modern programs for all age groups. Our special sections : Sport for All, Performance and Top Sport and Cultural sections are permanently working to this aim.
Czech Sokol Organization
Sokol is one of the oldest sports organization in Europe having been established on 16 February, 1862. It means that we celebrate the 150th anniversary of its existence this year.
Its democratic and humanistic values became a nation´s buttress in its key periods – during the national revival, during the birth of the independent state and after both world wars. On the contrary, in the periods of totalitarian regimes it was always banned and its members persecuted.
The last revival of Sokol rose in January 1990. Sokol of today continues old traditions but above all it builds the present and modern organisation meeting the requirements of healthy life style.
The present Czech Sokol Organisation (COS) associates almost 1200 physical fitness and sports clubs, called Sokol units, organised in 42 districts, having almost 180 000 members in total. In spite of the fact that Sokol is world known as the sport for all organization it also deals with top sport and cultural and art activities.
80 kinds of sports are represented in Sokol, tens of various theatre, musical, marionette, folklore ensembles and choirs perform their activities within Sokol organisation.
Probably the most famous events of Sokols are the All-Sokol Slets, which means Sokol festivals that have always been the highlights of all Sokol activities.
This year the XVth All-Sokol Slet will be held in July as the top of our celebrations of the great anniversary.
Every six years Sokol presents the results of its work at these Slets. Besides great mass compositions (calisthenics) the Slet programme always includes other activities where the best Sokol theatre, music, folklore and marionette ensembles present themselves, various sports and tourist events take place.
Czech Sokol Organisation is the member of the World Sokol Federation together with Sokol organisations from Europe, America and Australia. Sokol organisations abroad were those where Sokol ideals were kept and survived during the totalitarian periods.
Sokols from abroad regularly participate in our Slets as well as our gymnasts actively attend the Slets abroad.
What we really find very important is our membership in ISCA (International Sport and Culture Association).
Both the organisations exercise the same programme – that is sport for all. For us ISCA means above all the platform for a wide scale cooperation – for bilateral as well as for multi lateral cooperation. For cooperation both long term and short term or even ad hoc cooperation.