An international group of football players meets every Thursday at the pitch by Bobycentrum in Brno. When you see or hear them, it is obvious that they are not Czech, but they are very much at home here – they have been meeting for the last three years. This football team is comprised of international students of the Faculty of Medicine and was established because it is difficult for the players to become part of any Czech team.
The team has become a common meeting ground Germans, Greeks, Brits, Arabs, or Norwegians. There are usually about 15 or 18 players, depending on the circumstances. “We have never had a Czech in the team, but that does not mean that they are not welcome – everyone is. The team is open to every student of Masaryk University, whether they are Erasmus students or study in a full-length Czech or English programme,” say Rahil Siddique and Efosa Uwubamwen. Both come from England and both are members of MIMSA (Masaryk International Medical Students Association).
The main reason med students come to these sessions is, of course, their love of football. However, they are not the only football enthusiasts and so a special university league was established about five years ago. So far, the other teams besides Masaryk University have come from the First Faculty of Medicine at Charles University and medical faculties in Hradec Králové and Olomouc. This year, the league is expecting to welcome newcomers from the Second and Third Faculty of Medicine at Charles University and med students from Plzeň.
As the players say, “Most of the time, the other teams are composed solely of future physicians. But we already had vet students on our team, for example. We would really prefer to only accept people from Masaryk University, but if someone is really good, we wouldn’t say no.”
The league is a round-robin tournament, but there is yet no fixed date for the first match of this season. A lot depends on the current workload of individual players. Masaryk University players have set a big goal for this year: up until now, they have made it to the finals three times, only to be beaten by the Prague team each time, but this time they are aiming at a victory over their Prague colleagues. As they say, “We are all fired up for the challenge.”