Slovakia: Romani girl from settlement now champion runner in her region
One year ago, photographs of Annamária, a Romani girl standing on the first place podium of an athletics competition in ballerina flats, went viral on Czech and Slovak social media. Despite her family being very badly off financially and living in a cabin in the Romani settlement of Moldava nad Bodvou, she beat more than 400 other children to win the 750 meter race.
Her talent was noticed by the local athletics club, which has taken her under their wing and is financially supporting her. Today, after one year of training, she is the best runner in her category in eastern Slovakia.
Slovak public broadcaster RTVS has been following up on her story. Annamária trains four times a week and excels all other members at her club.
"She's a medium distance runner. At this moment she is the best runner in eastern Slovakia in the category of older schoolgirls," Norobert Pecze, chair of the Legionnaires' Athletics Club, told RTVS television.
The Slovak Athletics Union, which supports the club Annamária trains at, is also taking care of other talented athletes, but sociologist Zuzana Kusá of the Slovak Academy of Sciences says the union should focus more on support for children's sport generally and for children from socially disadvantaged environments above all. "We are supporting top-level sports, not children's sports, and especially not anything for children who live in different kinds of disadvantaged conditions," she told RTVS.
"For many such people, sport can be a big motivation and opportunity to extricate themselves from such environments," the sociologist said. She also noted that it is very difficult to spot talent among such children because they frequently do not attend physical education classes in the Slovak schools - for no other reason than that they do not own a change of clothes or footwear.
- Slovak homeowner considers selling to Roma, so his neighbors graffiti his house and puncture his tires
- Slovakia: Dozens of children from orphanage ending up in psychiatric care - is it a business?
- Slovak Plenipotentiary for Romani Communities: We will focus on education and employment
- Czech film festival visited by seven Romani children from Slovak settlements to promote "Silent Days"
- Romani girl who won race in Slovakia while running in flats keeps on winning
- Slovakia: Girl from impoverished Romani family wins race running in flats
- Czech state funding for nonprofits goes mostly to social policy and sports
- Czech politician and sports figure convicted of buying Romani votes
- Football gives Travellers a sporting chance
- Slovak quarantine measures in Romani settlement are over, police and soldiers no longer on guard there
- Romani kickboxer from Czech Republic keeps winning with "Gitano" on his back and the Romani flag on his shorts
- EU Commissioner for Values: EU money is meant to help the Roma too, data collection is important so we aren't flying blind
- Slovak MP of Romani origin Peter Pollák, Jr.: COVID-19 isn't racist
- Romani politicians: Slovak court's judgment in case of police abuse of children is unacceptable
- Romani kickboxer becomes Czech champion in classical boxing as well, will the big promoters notice?
- Despite COVID-19 state of emergency, landlord summarily evicts five Romani families in Czech town
- More than one Romani kickboxer from Czech Republic wins events in the WAKO K-1 WORLD GRAND PRIX 2020
- Romani community in third-largest Czech city donates truckload of vitamins to hospital in gratitude for their work during COVID-19
- Czech town's project to install "container housing" on mostly-Romani housing estate published online by opposition local assembly member
- Miss Czech Republic, who is Romani, wins title of "Miss Elegance" and is now in the top 15 of the Miss Globe 2020 beauty competition
- Slovak Govt Roma Plenipotentiary says Romani community rates of COVID-19 infection the same as majority-society rates