If someone didn’t know this blonde and smiling warrior personally, they would probably think she was a perfectly healthy teenage girl who doesn’t like boredom, based on the list of her activities. Anička Jurošková from Ostrava, who will soon turn thirteen is in a completely different league.
She has loved sport since she was a little girl. She first started pedalling with her parents, and went on many bike rides with them. Then she hit another milestone, they climbed Snežka together. There’s nothing this girl wouldn’t dare to do or would be afraid of. She loves riding monoski and most of all, she loves going to the gym. With her tenacity and admirable diligence, this successful young athlete, who has even won a bronze medal at an international competition, inspires not only her peers but also adults.
That there are plenty of stories like this? Not really, there’s a little catch. Anička has been struggling with a number of health problems that would bring many people down. But not this sympathetic, ambitious hard worker. Not even quadriparesis, epilepsy or severe vision and speech disability keep her from bravely fighting her life. Just like for medals on the sports field.
The national jersey as a reward for everyday hard work.
„Despite all the health problems, sport is the best choice for Anička. It motivates her and pushes her closer to her sport and life goals”, says her mum Lenka Jurošková, who is also a trainer for disabled children and adults.
At the end of June, her daughter will try to win a medal in boccia, a sport that is similar to pétanque but suitable for disabled athletes. She will have the opportunity to be one of the representatives who will go to the European games for disabled youth.
It’s a great reward and satisfaction for all her hard work. After all, this little blonde girl does sports every day. And even though she knows that sport is sometimes about luck, a medal from an international competition Emil Open, where one of the ambassadors will be the winner of the Paralympic games in Tokio - Adam Peška, is her big dream these days. „I look forward to the games very much. They are my dream that is coming true. I really wish to win the gold medal”, says this young disabled athlete.
11th year of Emil Open is a huge motivation for Anička
She will try to do so at the 11th year of the games for young athletes with all types of disabilities from ten to twenty six years in Brno from 22nd to 26th June. In a week full of fun and sport, they will measure their strength together with Anička on Brno sports ground in seven sports and more than thirty disciplines. This unique Emil Open project will host 884 participants from 16 countries of Europe. The largest team will be from the Czech Republic.
„We are planning to organise competitions in athletics, swimming, table tennis, boccia and bocce and also in archery and cycling,” says president of the organisation committee Emil Open Pavel Zbožínek. This unique project wants to give young disabled people the same chance as everyone else. „It is the only way to understand that real effort and determination make sense. We will always support our athletes. Thanks to the games, they will get the opportunity to do sport with other youth, they can make new friendships and together, they will contribute to eliminating unnecessary prejudices and mutual shyness”, Pavel Zbožínek explains the philosophy of the international tournament.
And it is Anička that has been supported by Emil for a long time. In summer time, this active girl has quite a lot of opportunities to fulfill her love for sport but in winter, it can be problematic to find the right sport that the disabled enthusiasts can practise on a regular basis. That ‘s why the Emil Foundation decided to get Anička a pair of monoski, she loves skiing and she’s outgrown her old ones. „Anička's story, to whom we will also contribute for rehabilitation, shows the activities of our foundation and association that is summed up in our slogan “we help, we inspire, we cheer”. Through our financial support, we enable many young people to get closer to sport, to perceive the atmosphere and to take it up. By creating sport opportunities, we try to offer them different sport activities and involve them in international events, such as Emil Open”, adds Pavel Zbožínek.
Barriers? Sport breaks them down
And how exactly can this little, always positive blondie inspire her peers and the ones who sometimes complain even when there is no reason? So far, she hasn’t found a barrier that would prevent her from living like any other healthy child. She simply loves life and sport despite her severe disability.
„Sport develops Anička - physically and mentally. That’s why we are extremely pleased to have found the para sport of boccia. She’s always very excited, she has friends there and a trainer, who is a part of her life and pushes her closer to her goals. She also looks forward to the competition because she can show everyone how far she’s come. It is very important for her as she wants to be very independent. And we’ve been working on this since she was little”, says her mum Lenka Jurošková.
Anička, according to her, was given the gift of teaching people humility, empathy, giving enough time and love. „She loves people who can listen to her and give her time. She’s very positive, she loves music and good mood. Despite all obstacles she loves her life, which is full of adventure.” explains the trainer of disabled athletes.
However, it’s not only sport that helps Anička physically and mentally to feel integrated into the common population. She regularly attends rehabilitation, physiotherapy and occupational therapy, which are most needed for her self-care, more active function of her hands in controlling her wheelchair and also fine motor skills in writing. She attends craniosacral therapy and hyperbaric chamber immersion. This all has a positive impact on the maintenance of her health but also of the mental side and speech.
Teaching this young Czech athlete to fight obstacles and prepare her the best possible conditions to live the most comfortable life is important, especially for her parents. „We are very happy as parents. When I remember the predictions that she wouldn’t be able to do anything by herself and I can see how far she has come thanks to sport and our diligence , I can’t believe it. We are glad for every new morning when a new day starts. And we know that what we are doing makes sense,” closes Lenka Jurošková.