Czech Republic: Romani children's grades improve after joining floorball teams
Last week the Czech daily Mostecký deník reported that Romani children attending a primary school that serves the Chánov housing estate have begun to dedicate themselves to the sport of floorball. They play after school twice a week.
As a result of that experience, their behavior in school and their grades have improved. Their trainer is a former professional football player, Miroslav Potužák of Most.
"At home I wouldn't do anything, I was bored. I enjoy everything about floorball, though," 11-year-old David, a local Romani pupil, told the daily.
He is one of the 20 children who are significantly improving under the direction of Miroslav Potužák. "If you don't listen then you have no chance of being involved with training, but if you listen and obey, I will do all that I can for you. They can feel that, they see that I am fair with them," the trainer explains.
The breaking of behavioral rules at the school is kept track of through a system of tally marks. The children who play floorball after school have improved when it comes to following the rules.
During the month of December not one floorball player got a single tally mark for breaking the rules at school. Potužák first contributed to organizing the Mayor of Most's Cup competition several years ago.
He saw at the time that children in the socially excluded locality there lacked a leader, so he set up the floorball circle. He teaches his charges not to be mean to others but to behave cohesively with respect and responsibility.
"They get to play floorball in the gym as a reward for good behavior," teacher Irena Petráková told the daily. Educators at the school says the circle brings the collective together, reduces absenteeism, and improves the children's grades.
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