Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Sokol

Sokol is a Czech sports community that was founded in Prague in 1862.  Sokol is the Czech word for "falcon".  The Sokol movement is based on the principle of a "strong mind in a sound body".  Not only physical education, but moral training was also provided.  The courses were originally opened to men and later were opened to women as well.  Sokol is kind of a version of scouting.

Sokol Brno I
The Sokol movement became popular and spread to Poland, Slovenia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Belarus, Croatia and the Russian Empire.  In 1865 Czechoslovak-Americans started the American Sokol Organisation in St. Louis, Missouri.

Sokol was banned during WWI as being seen as fostering nationalism.  It was banned again prior to WWII when the Nazis occupied Czech lands.  The communists banned them again after 1948.  Sokol was revived again in 1990.  Today more than 190,000 people actively participate.

In Brno they offer floor hockey, rock climbing, fencing, table tennis, athletics, volleyball and gymnastics.  Every year Brno hosts an international Grand Prix competition.  Here's a video about Brno's Sokol out on YouTube.
video
©Brno Sokol I

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