The fifteenth ceremony in which the Equal Opportunities in Sport Commission of the Czech Olympic Committee has celebrated the achievements of male and female coaches has taken place to recognize their long-term work. Twenty-four women in four categories (Professional Female Coach, Discovery of the Year, Lifelong Achievements of a Female Instructor/Coach and Stronger for Life) received special certificates of appreciation. Gymnastics coach František Hnízdil received an award for his extraordinary contribution to women‘s sport.
“Volunteer instructors and coaches, and not only female but also male, help us promote love to sport in the Czech Republic,” said the Commission’s Chairwoman Ilona Burgrová, a former successful basketball player and vice-world champion. She added: “Thanks to their patient work and guidance, athletes can make their dreams come true and win medals.”
We believe in leading by example, and there are many incredible stories we would like to share!
Nineteen women received awards for their lifelong volunteer activities, as well as women in Professional Female Coach and Discovery of the Year categories. Three women received the Stronger for Life award. The three winners are female instructors and coaches who were facing health, social or other problems but overcame those difficulties, returned to sport, and inspired others. “We believe in leading by example, and there are many incredible stories we would like to share,” Burgrová describes this category. Iveta Hájková, Daniela Smutná and Kateřina Šmídová received special certificates of appreciation.
Men also help develop generations of female athletes or promote equal opportunities in sport, so the Outstanding Contribution to Female Sport was introduced in 2019 as a special category for men. This year’s winner, František Hnízdil, has been chairman of the Rhythmic Gymnastics Club in Zlín for 38 years. Hundreds of rhythmic gymnasts grew up under his guidance and the club has claimed many successes, including at least fifty medals from Czech national championships and two starts at the World Championships.