Professor Charvát, the Founder of the Faculty of Sports Studies MU, has died

14 Apr 2020

On Friday, 10th April Professor Michal Charvát, co-founder of the Faculty of Sports Studies of Masaryk University died after a serious illness shortly before his 77th birthday.

Obituary

The spring of the second decade of the third millenium has brought dramatic situations and unexpected painful moments but we are often completely unprepared to face the relentless course of time of our microworld. Society, shaken perhaps in the foundations of the conventionally monotonous everydayness at Masaryk University´s youngest faculty, faces not only the cleansing process of the Faculty´s management but it is completely unprepared to receive the sad news of the death of Professor Michal Charvát, the leading initiator of the vision to found the Faculty of Sports Studies of Masaryk University in Brno. From a truly historical point of view he accompanied several generations of academics, coaches, professional sportsmen and sportswomen and organizers and managers of the world of sports. After his „apprenticeship“ years at elementary and secondary schools, he continued up the ladder at the Pedagogical Faculty of UJEP (today’s Masaryk University) from 1973. His professional interest is obvious in his candidate thesis “The Role of Education in the Environment of Top-Level Sports“ (1987).

It was at this faculty where the idea of establishing a new faculty primarily and specifically focused on educating experts in the wide world of sports was gradually shaped in line with the importance of sport as an inseparable socio-cultural phenomenon and the most popular form of mass culture : from the PE teachers, people working in security forces, coaches and referees to experts on regeneration and nutrition, physiotherapists or recently also sport managers. In 2002 Michal Charvát became the first dean of newly founded Faculty of Sports Studies thus creating the shamrock of sport faculties together with Charles University in Prague and Palacký University in Olomouc. After his second term in office as dean, he was a long-term vice-dean and at the same time he led the Department of Social Sciences. It should be noted here that Michal Charvát was an ardent supporter of teaching and scientific research in the area of the sociology of sport. Due to this specialization he was awarded a degree as associate professor at the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport at Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia and then in 2009 he became a professor in the field of sport humanistics.

In his science and research activities, the late Michal Charvát primarily focused on practical issues in the world of sports, which was his personal world of individual self-realization and active sport interests: he was a well-known promoter of downhill skiing and tennis and he successfully fought for the professionalization of coaches and referees in the elite collective sports of our cultural environment. Moreover, he was a distinguished personality of Czech academic sport not only due to his participation as an organizer and representative at a number of Universiades, since for a long time he was also a member of many Scientific Boards even outside Masaryk University. Therefore he was deservedly awarded the Gold Medal of Masaryk University, the Gold Medal “Tibi Gratias” and the medal for long-term collaboration in research and pedagogical activities by the Faculty of Physical Education and Sport of Charles University.

Professor Michal Charvát was a distinguished personality in the university world of sports, a kind, smiling and tolerant colleague and friend, an unseparable integrating figure of the Faculty of Sports Studies of Masaryk University. Let us remember him as a man who set many of us on our professional careers: colleagues and students of the Faculty of Sports Studies of Masaryk University in this time of forced separation.

A.S.

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