I am former teacher of Athletics at Faculty of Physical Education and Sports, Charles University, Prague (1974-1994) and former secretary general of Association of School Sports Clubs of the Czech Republic (1995-2008). I am coach of Athletics (since 1973 till now) specialized on jumping events and decathlon.
I met ISF for the first time at Ski competition in Tarvisio, Italy in 1995 as the head of Czech delegation and then for the second time in the same role at Athletic Cup Jean Humbert in Banská Bystrica, Slovakia in 1995. These two ISF events made me excited so that in 1996 I sent the application for becoming the member of Technical Commission of Athletics. My effort and wish was successful and in 1997 I arrived, as the new TC member, to Cherbourg, France and started working under the friendly chairmanship of Neal Dickinson from England. It was together with Attilio Bravi from Italy, Michel Garnier from France, and also with new TC members Herta Viertbauer from Austria and Oded Hecht from Israel.
Then, in 1998, we created the new system of scoring of performances in Athletic Cup Jean Humbert – we moved from 40 points scales to 100 points scales. This system successfuly worked until 2013 when we were forced to revise it in order to reflect the higher age limit in ISF competitions. So, in Wuhan 2015 we are going to have minimum two premieres – the first athletic team event out of Europe and the first use of new scoring tables – edition 2014.
In 2003 Executive Committee of ISF designated me the president of TC after Michel Garnier who retired. During my work in commission I met very good friends from different countries. Let me to remember further persons who are no more in this body – Mohamed Rachid from Morocco, Olivier Tzatchev from France, David Littlewood from England and Sonja Spendelhofer from Austria.
The recent team consists of four experienced long-time TC members – Nihat Doker, my Vice-president, from Turkey, Guy Dagan from Israel, Roman Králik from Slovakia and Adam Szymzcak from Poland. Two new colleagues – Giuliana Maria Cassani from Italy and Spyros Spyrou from Cyprus become members in 2014..
We were always very effective group thanks to the fact that all my colleagues were and have been highly qualified in school sport. I expect that it will continue also in the next period.
Athletics as a sport has one big advantage – it measurable. It is easy to compare capacity of athletes through seconds and meters. This fact has the high educational value. And the format of Jean Humbert Memorial – ISF Athletics – is very clever system how to compete in individual sport in teams. Although teams are relatively small – only 6 athletes in each – the whole competition consists of nearly full olympic programme of events. And classification of teams is based on team spirit, every athlete has chance to contribute to the team score. That is the valuable educational aspect, as well.
I would like to mention some words about so called Friendship Relay. We took it as a legacy from our predecesors and we are proud being able to promote it as the integral part of all our events. The nature of Friendship Relay is non-competitive. It is the tool of the intercultural understanding and way of the communication among participants. Girls and boys always enjoy it and are willing and able to contribute to the success of it through their creativeness and their enthusiasm.
And finally – what I see very important, specific and unique on activities of ISF, including Athletics. It can be briefly described as giving quality international experience to students, teenagers, many of whom are potential decision makers in future (headmasters of schools, top level coaches, top level administrators, etc.). Most of them will not become Olympic winners but experience taken at ISF events can positively influence their relationship to sports activities, their way of life and their attitudes in the open World.