EUHA – During these hot summer days the European University Hockey League (EUHL), co-founded by Ľubomír Sekeráš and his team of the European Student Hockey Association (EUHA), has been intensively preparing already for the seventh season.
One of the first universities with which the participation negotiations were successfully held and concluded is the Charles University, Prague, where on 26 June 2019 an agreement on the participation of the UK Prague team in the EUHL season 19/20 was signed.
“We do hope that the upcoming EUHL season will be again a success for our team, just like the first four years of the EUHL existence when we became the champions of this league,” says the team manager of the UK Prague hockey team Ing. et Mgr. Milos Fiala, Ph.D..
“In the last season, we didn’t do few things right and that cost us a better final position in the EUHL league. In the new season, we want to give 100 percent in each game and we want to have the strongest team spirit and stand behind each other and pull together as one team. We are looking forward to seeing new faces and play many hockey games even on higher level this year,” added Jan Valder, captain of Prague.
“We are proud of the work done so far. Until now, there was no link between the education and hockey and many players quitted hockey at the junior age as they had to choose only studies. Education is the only way for young people to develop further, but why could not they also have the option to continue with their favourite sports activities during their studies and on a high level. This same problem is present across the Europe, where organised regular university hockey league is absent,” says EUHA vice-president and founder of the league Lubomir Sekeráš.
In the Czech Republic, the EUHL is represented by its sister organization, the Czech University Hockey Association (ACUH) led by Ales Bachanek. In the previous six seasons, university hockey teams from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Austria and Poland competed in the EUHL league. In addition to the regular competition, EUHL has a long-standing and fruitful relationships based on the Memorandums of Cooperation with the American University Hockey Association (ACHA) and the Russian University Student League (RSHL) and this cooperation have a form of regular friendly matches between the selection teams from these leagues.
The main principle of the university hockey league is to connect hockey with education, and before the establishment of the EUHL, many young players ended with hockey in junior age and only focused on studying or they decided to play professional hockey but without continuing their studies. The growing level of the EUHL league in the last seasons and the increasing number of students-hockey players interested in playing EUHL only confirmed that this not yet fully exploited hockey segment deserves to further developed and promoted.
Another important principle of the EUHL is the amateur and student status of league players, which does not allow players to play in the professional hockey leagues and furthermore players must be active university students. In the long-term perspective, these rules will enable EUHL to attract hockey talents to universities, raise the hockey level of the league and create a bridge for players to their next professional life, either hockey or profession for which they have studied.
Also, for the seventh season, EUHL promises great hockey experiences. The taste and experience of university hockey is completely different from the professional hockey games. Students-hockey players do not play for the salary, they play for their university name, for their classmates who go to their games to encourage them, they celebrate their winnings together and they also deal with their losses. This creates a new community identity and strong bonds that will last even long after graduation. All of this was confirmed by the final matches of the last season, where the cheering of young people encouraging their classmates on the ice from the team of Trenčin Gladiators and UMB Banská Bystrica was heard far from the hockey stadium.
In the upcoming seventh season, the EUHL promises even more intense sport experiences and invites all hockey fans to the games of the participating university teams, where the hockey is played with a big heart and an incredible commitment of these young student players.