Why Play Football at UNYP?

Your university years are not just for acquiring academic knowledge, but for developing new personal qualities and abilities to make the most of your character and interests. The University of New York in Prague offers a range of activities both within and outside the academic programs in order to maximize the development of student talent. Of course, sport is one of the most well-known extracurricular activities, and football is one of the most popular sports.

In today's blog post, we talk to the UNYP Blazers Football team coach Matěj Kopecký. 

Could you please tell us about your professional background? 

M.K.: "I studied physical education for children at the university, and during my studies, I also worked as a football coach and taught physical education in a primary school.  After graduation, I spent a year in London, also teaching sports at school. Today, I combine work at the gym with coaching the University of New York in Prague football team. I enjoy keeping in touch with the sports education world."

What is the most challenging part of being a university football coach? 

M.K.: "In professional football, the team squad remains the same for several years, but in a university league, the students are constantly changing, depending on how fast they graduate. It takes time for the players to get used to each other. As a coach, I put a lot of energy into figuring out the best way of communication with every individual player to speed up this process. In professional football, the players already know each other's strengths and weaknesses, which helps them work as a well-tuned mechanism, and this comes with years of training. Time is a luxury in our case, so I have to make every training session as effective as possible, and I expect a certain level of commitment from the players. But of course, I find it important for students to have fun playing football in the first place."

Promoting sports and enhancing health at UNYP

Why would you recommend that UNYP students join the Blazers football team? 

M.K.: "First of all - a new experience which is both physically and socially beneficial. Football requires practicing communication skills and literally learning how to work as a team. Our students can make new friends and expand their social circle. I think that sports teams contribute to the sense of community within the university."

Is there any potential for organizing a UNYP women's football team? 

M.K.: "So far, we mostly have guys. However, one of the UNYP female students loves football so much that she attends all our training sessions and plays in matches with us. We are very open to forming a new team once we have enough demand – we could start with as few as 6 players."

Sports in general and football, in particular, are a form of student self-expression and self-assertion. As football is one of the most popular games at the University of New York in Prague, it encourages the desire for success and helps individuals to realize their capabilities within a specific sporting scenario. The combination of educational and sports activities allows students to become more independent, self-reliant and ambitious. At UNYP we encourage mass participation in sports, the spread of knowledge about healthy lifestyles, and the improvement of our students’ physical and mental health. Sporting activities can promote and sustain health, fitness, and well-being for all in higher education, ultimately leading to a legacy of high-quality experiences and outcomes for all participants.

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