Falconers from all corners of the country came to Tyrš's house in Prague on the first Sunday of October. They brought with them slet messages, which they handed over to ČOS mayor Hana Moučková and other members of the slet team. With the relay, the practice of group compositions and the summer school year officially begin.
Sokols brought Slet messages to Prague
On the first Sunday in October, Sokols from all corners of the country gathered at the Tyrš House in Prague. They brought along their Slet messages and handed them over to the Mayor of the Czech Sokol Community (ČOS) Hana Moučková and other members of the Slet team. The Relay officially launched rehearsals of the gymnastic mass compositions and the Slet year.
Unity Through Slet! That is the motto of the upcoming XVIIth All-Sokol Slet (Gathering). The Slet Relay united diverse generations and regions from all over the Czech Republic and was therefore the proof that the Slet motto has come true.
“We have received beautiful messages from all 14 regions of our country and I am very happy that a record number of young people, along with experienced Sokol members, participated in their preparation and delivery to the Tyrš House,“said Hana Moučková, Mayor of the ČOS.
Sokol units bring their messages to their district organizations and these hand them over to their regional representatives who take them to Prague. This year, several hundreds of Sokol units took part in the Relay.
"Most of the sisters and brothers arrived at the Tyrš House by historic tram. Those from Liberec Region rode on historic bicycles. The Sokol units’ relay batons were moved on to Prague in every possible way - by walking, running, in baby prams and even on horses. As always, Sokols were extremely creative here,” says Petr Svoboda, Chief of the ČOS.
These days, rehearsals of the mass performances, which are open to the general public, have also begun. Everything will culminate with the XVIIth All-Sokol Slet, which will be held from 30 June to 5 July 2024 in Prague. Thousands of Sokol members will present their mass gymnastic performances at the Fortuna Arena of the Prague Slavia FC. During the presentation of the Slet messages, Sokols showcased a part of the composition Leporelo, which is performed by junior girls and women and aims at pointing out uniqueness and beauty of every woman. "There are a total of 12 different compositions for all generations, so there is something for everyone. The authors have really put a lot of effort into their compositions and I am convinced that the audience will love them,” says Eva Řibřidová, Chief of the ČOS.
The relays are one of the proofs of Sokol togetherness and pride. Zdeněk Lauschmann, the sponsor of the past Slet relays, described the importance of relays beautifully, when he said: “You become a co-creator of a great and marvellous work, which may not tower over the city like a cathedral, but which will remain in the memories of all those who witnessed it. So run or ride with your head held high!”
The Slet Sokol relays were organized earlier than those of the Olympic Games. Only they were called Slet Runs back then. In October 1919, runners carried a case with a greeting message to president T.G. Masaryk. Male-only participants ran the total of 1661 kilometers on seven tracks. In 1947, 46 029 people participated, but the tradition was cut afterwards by the communist ban on the Sokol organization. The relay was reinstated in September 2005, and since then has been opening the years of Slet.
For pictures from the event please visit PHOTO GALLERY.
Unity Through Slet! Let the relay be the beginning of the gathering and the Slet its culmination. Sokol is alive!