Ladies and gentlemen, dear athletes,
I cordially welcome you to the European Youth Games for the Disabled – Emil Open 2021. As Rector of Masaryk University, I am happy to see you here in our beautiful city of Brno. As a big sports fan myself, it is my honour to support this great athletic event.
I often say that it is our duty at Masaryk University to regularly remind ourselves of our past and our roots. Our traditions comprise certain values and principles that we associate with the intellectual legacy of the first Czechoslovak President Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, as well as his deep interest in the strengthening of the human spirit and body. I am proud that Masaryk University continues to build on this tradition not only in its role as an important centre of learning and research, but also through its strong emphasis on sports – for example at our excellent Faculty of Sports Studies.
The year 2020 and a significant part of 2021 was marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, which gravely affected Masaryk University and our entire society. That is another reason why I am extremely pleased that this beautiful sporting event is one of the first to mark a return to normalcy and, in a broader sense, serve as a source of encouragement and hope to us all.
I wish you many wonderful sporting experiences!
Rector of Masaryk University