Today we bring you an interview with Professor Hana Válková, who works at the Faculty of Sports Studies. She focuses mainly on the sport psychology and is in charge of athletes’ coordination and the philosophy “open”.
How is the open philosophy working in sports?
In practice it means that people can compete according to relativity principle. Thanks to that, blind, mentally or physically disabled athletes can compete together. It is a specific principle which is not easy to explain, but is simple in reality. We evaluate qualification time of the competitors, all of them go to finals and according to their relative performance they are put into groups of six. The participants then compete in their group and this way all of them have equal chances to win.
Is it like this for all sports at Emil Open?
As I far as I know, boccia has specific rules and is done under strict rules taken over from Paralympic competitions. The relativity principle for open category comes from international rules, and in the groups of six are athletes with similar performances, who compete against one another.
Is the Faculty of Sports Studies MU focusing also on the sports for the disabled?
The Faculty of Sports Studies is focused on all areas with sports character, including physical recreation and competitive sports. We cooperate with organisations that engage in top-level sports, school sports, and sports for the disabled. The spectrum is balanced, just like it usually works.
What is the biggest contribution of Emil Open?
During the games, those who are doing nothing are often inspired to pick up a sport. Presentation of Czech clubs for people from the Czech Republic is a part of the games, and people can sign up. They can also learn where and when they can engage in regular activities. We do not have many sport clubs for the disabled, but here they have possibility to discover them.
Do you see any change in how the public perceives the Games?
First two years, the games were only for the disabled people. This year is the second year as open. Emil Open means sport for everyone, for the blind, for the one with really week sight, for the deaf, and for mentally disabled. There is also mix category, where they can compete with anyone in pairs. We engage the volunteers, families, and public in this, so they can compete together. The placement of points does not matter, what matters is to compete and make it as a pair.
How can people support Emil Open?
They can engage as volunteers, as fans and spectators.