The University of New York in Prague is the leading English-language university in the Czech Republic. This private institution has been offering higher quality education and an exceptional study environment to Czech and international students since 1988. The cosmopolitan ways of the university are enhanced by multiple important partnerships. They are proud of their long term collaboration with the State University of New York, Empire State College and several European universities. To broaden the possibilities of their students even more, the prestigious Czech university has announced three new partnerships.

On Thursday September 2nd, UNYP held a press conference for the announcement with the presence of eight special guests. The first guest that addressed the audience with a short speech was Petr Graclík, the Secretary General of the Czech Olympic Committee along with Kateřina Neumannová, an Olympic winner in cross-country skiing, Dual Career project ambassador, NOC. As they said, UNYP will become an Official Education Supplier of the Czech Olympic Team as the main objective of the collaboration. Above all, Graclík expressed the importance of all youngsters getting the best education possible, especially the hard working athletes. The partnership will last from January of 2022 through December of 2026. UNYP will operate as a part of the Czechs Team Dual Career project, which was created to help athletes prepare for their life once their professional sports career is terminated.

The next guest of the conference was the one and only Czech professional ice hockey player Jaromír Jágr. At the conference, Jágr was accompanied by Daniel Ciampini and Cody Donaghey, players of Rytíři Kladno. +His speech validated the partnership between UNYP and the Rytíři Kladno ice hockey team. Together, they hope to spark a new generation of elite Czech hockey players who also excell academically. Jágr said that the Rytíři Kladno will strive to be not only the best ice hockey team in the Czech Republic but also the smartest one. He personally will recommend all his athletes to divide their time between the rink and education. Jaromír Jágr was pleased to receive a Blazers jersey with his traditional number 68 from UNYP.

Martina Bacíková, representing the Economic Olympiad, also joined forces with the university in order to increase the economic literacy of Czech youth and provide them with a more concrete understanding of economics as they will later become important leaders in the Czech Republic as well as in the European Union overall.

Last but definitely not least, UNYP expressed their appreciation for the cooperation with the Canadian Embassy. UNYP honored H. E. Ayesha Patricia Rekhi, the Ambassador of Canada to the Czech Republic, and all the other special guests with valuable gifts.

The meeting was also a chance to introduce another special guest. A Czech Canadian street artist, David Strauzz, introduced his art installations specifically created for UNYP. The black cloth on the wall behind the guests was gently removed by the artist himself so the artwork could be seen. It was the first time ever that the piece was presented in front of a wide audience. The wall portrays three slightly visible face features of three men important to the Czech history with symbolic words like resistance, witness, suppression, gender and more written all over them. At first sight, the words seem to be the main objective of the artwork. Interestingly enough, when one looks through the camera lens, suddenly the visage appears much clearer to the observer. The author, however, kindly refused to reveal their names at the event while advising all guests to spend a few seconds thinking and reflecting on the deeper meaning of freedom in speech and education.

The University promotes a project of forming high-level Czech sports and academic partnerships, serving to strengthen the message that tomorrow’s leaders need a healthy mind in a healthy body.  UNYP’s General Manager, Sotiris Foutis, reminded that the school has already been providing their students with free gym memberships and free swimming pool access. Furthermore, for quite some time the coaches have been successfully leading UNYP’s own Blazers sports team. With the help of this project, they would like to show plenty of young athletes that are in pursuit of a career in the field of sports that they can go above and beyond the active involvement of their physical abilities. As the icon Jágr said himself, “The problem is, that you cannot maintain a sports career in your seventies.” All parties involved in the collaboration would like to ensure a world-class education to the best of athletes.

Joana Majidová