Czech Republic: Romani football trainer keeps children in the ghettos away from drugs
The road away from drugs and the ghetto leads through the football pitch. Lukáš Pulko of Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic, who has established a team called Mongaguá together with Brazilian player Rodrigo Taverna, can confirm that.
Pulko says he is both a proud Czech and a proud Rom doing his best to capture the imaginations of as many Romani children as possible so they will not descend into the world of drugs and shoplifting. News server iDNES.cz published an interview with him yesterday.
"With the aid of the 'Say no to racism' campaign we want to show children and young people that sports is the right place for them to spend their free time, a place where they are welcome irrespective of their age, religious beliefs, sex, or skin color. I got the idea when watching the Champions League on television from a similar public service announcement. We created a banner that reads 'Say no to racism' and the clubs photograph themselves with it. The first to join was Junior Děčín, and today we also have Jablonec, Plzeň, Sparta, mainly indoor football teams, including their representations," Pulko explains in the interview.
Pulko believes sports are the best prevention against everything that endangers children in the ghettos and on the streets, whether that be drugs, gambling, or shoplifting. "I want to keep the children busy through sports so they won't think about drugs," says the former player for Jablonec nad Nisou, who had to end his active career due to a back injury.
He can't stay away from the game, however, and still plays with FC Roma Děčín today. Boys and girls living in the quarter of Mojžíř, in the apartment buildings around Matiční Street, and in the nearby residential hotels in Ústí all attend his trainings.
"Last time I had 10 girls and 40 boys at my training. I would like to take the Mongaguá team country-wide so the children could meet at the pitches
closest to their homes," Pulo says, adding that while mostly Romani children attend his trainings, non-Roma do as well.
"Because we meet in localities like Krásné Březno and Neštěmice, 90 % of the team is Romani, but we're open to all. The Bláhý brothers play with us, they're blond with blue eyes, and that's fine," Pulko laughs.
- Goal of his career! Romani footballer Ricardo Quaresma sends Portugal to EURO 2016 quarterfinals
- Czech football team models clothing brand with neo-Nazi associations
- Germany: Neo-Nazis plan brawl for tomorrow's football finals in Munich
- Football gives Travellers a sporting chance
- Romani football team removed from competition in the Czech Republic
- Some Czech riot police to deploy during risky football matches and neo-Nazi marches
- Czech moderator cuts short interview with party chair who refuses to distance herself from anti-Jewish texts
- Award-winning Czech principal says schools have to develop each child to the fullest
- Romani runner in Slovakia whose junior career has been so hopeful confirms she is pregnant
- Czech football club Sparta has identified the fans who shouted racist insults at Monaco player, filed a crime report against them and banned them from stadiums
- "Kamara - just a n****r" - Czech Police looking for football fans who published racist banner
- T-Mobile, general partner of Czech Republic's Sparta Prague football club, calls meeting with their leadership over their fans' racism
- Czech Republic's Sparta Prague football ultras shout racist insults and throw beer cups at Black Monaco player
- Barbora Ellen Bilá: I want to go to college and make my grandfather's last wish come true
- Romani player on Czech futsal team says he responds to racism by playing even better
- Romani kickboxer from Czech Republic defeats competitor after 90 seconds
- Czech footballer appeals UEFA ban, insists he never said anything racist
- Czech court finally rules football fans' actions during attack on Black man should be considered misdemeanors, not felonies