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Conferences on Dual Career of European Students – Athletes: Time for a change

First week of 2018, the International “Conference on Dual Career of European students-athletes: Time for a change” took place in Banská Bystrica with participation of representatives of American, Russian and European College Hockey and project partners from different European countries including Estonia, Latvia, Finland, Sweden, Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia. This Conference was the initial event of international project supported by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. The main goal of the Conference consisted in sharing knowledge, best practices and experiences while learning from different systems of the dual career of hockey players in various academic environments among representatives of global regions and project partners. Networking events were dedicated to discussions about future cooperation on the global level focused on solving common challenges.

Alongside the Conference, the selections from the European University Hockey League, Russian Student Hockey League and American Collegiate Hockey Association played for the first World Cup of College Hockey. This sport event was an unique opportunity for students-athletes to build new global relations and friendships.

The whole event was held under the auspices of the town Banská Bystrica.

January 2nd, 2018

Pre-conference networking event was held at the Hockey Stadium in Krynica in Poland during the hockey match  between EUHL selects and ACHA selects within the World Cup of College Hockey with match result 5:1 for ACHA selects.

January 3rd, 2018

Starting with the pre-conference meeting and the networking lunch, the main programme of this Conference day consisted of the plenary session with participation of all participants of the Conference and all players of the World Cup of College Hockey. The president of the EUHL officially opened the Conference with his welcome speech and opening words. Subsequently, the President of American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), Mr. Paul Hebert, and the director of hockey operations, Mr. Mo Stroeml, introduced the history and functioning of ACHA, followed by the President of Russian Student Hockey League (SHL), Mr. Anton Khramtsov with his presentation about recently established SHL and its structure and challenges. This session was concluded by the presentation of the President of European University Hockey League (EUHL), Mr. Jaroslav Straka, about past five seasons of the EUHL and its projects and events.

After the Q&A session, the press conference was held at the hotel LUX, the main venue of the Conference. The speakers of the press conference were Mr. Martin Turčan (vice-mayor of Banská Bystrica), Mr. Paul Hebert (president of ACHA), Mr. Anton Khramtsov (president of SHL), Mr. Jaroslav Straka (president of EUHL), Mr. David Kasal (MP from Czech Republic) and Mrs. Marta Pečeňová (chairperson of the Expert Group of Governmental Committee for people with disabilities).

After the Conference part of the day, the second match of the World Cup of College Hockey took place in Banská Bystrica between EUHL selects and SHL selects with match result 4:2 for SHL selects.

January 4th, 2018

Second conference day was dedicated to roundtable discussions divided into eight main domains.

Aim of the morning session was to exchange experiences and best practices on organisation of university hockey leagues with four main topics: 1. Financial and legal aspects of the league, 2. Logistics, 3. Cooperation with universities and municipalities and 4. Promotion and communication channels.

After the networking lunch, the afternoon session was focused on reaching the Erasmus+ project objectives with four main topics: 1. Content of the University Guidelines for Dual Career, 2. Creation of common website for all Wuropean University sport leagues, 3. Creation of draft charter of European Sport Promoting University Netwok and 4. Sustainability of enlarged EUHL.

All outcomes of the roundtable discussions will be provided on the official website www.students-athletes.org.

The sport part of the day was composed of the match between ACHA selects and SHL selects in Brezno with match result 7:0 for SHL selects.

January 5th, 2018

Morning session consisted in presentations of outcomes of both roundtable discussions from the previous day. After the networking lunch, the wrap-up meeting on exchange of best practices took place, followed by the Agreement on action points for discussions on  Erasmus+ meeting objectives.

After the official closing of the Conference, the final game of the first World Cup of College Hockey was held in Banská Bystrica between ACHA selects and SHL selects, as the winners of the previous games. The winner of the World Cup of College Hockey in 2018, with match result 6:1, has become the team of SHL selects from Russia. Congratulations, friends!

author: Katarina Stolarikova