The History of Sokol in the Czech Lands
Sokol gymnasiums were built in even small communities through co-operative effort and became sport and cultural centers. Sokol members successfully represented their country at the Olympics and world championships (Supcik, Vacha, Hudec, Gajdos, Dekanova and others). The program of Sokol has always been versatile, attractive for people of all ages. Besides regular training of all age groups, units organized sporting competitions, cultural events including drama, literature and music, excursions and youth camps. Sokol educators espoused the ideals of the movement to its members and were active in organizing discussions and exhibitions. The CSO published a wide range of magazines and booklets to assist the work of its units, including advice on organizing events and music for cultural performances and festivals. The peak of the Sokol activities were Sokol festivals.
Sokol was almost liquidated three times. It was banned by all totalitarian regimes in Czechoslovak history. Firstly, Sokol was banned during the World War I., in 1915. Secondly, it happened during the Nazi occupation of Czech lands and finally, Sokol was banned by the communists after 1948. In 1968, struggles for Sokol revival were killed by normalization and so after 42 years of hibernation, Sokol was restored for the fourth time in 1990. The beginnings of new era of Sokol are not easy. Sokol must fight for the recovery of its gymnasiums, sports grounds and other property. Also, Sokol faces generation problems. Today, the CSO unites almost 1100 units and 190 000 members. Almost half of the members attend sporting classes, which means that there are also many young people. More and more young people also become Sokol functionaries.
of presentation. Today, Sokol offers a wide range of modern activities. It
organizes untraditional events called "Us today"- for example gymnastic
exhibitions, Euroteam competitions, the Terry Fox Run, etc. The Czech Sokol
Organization co-operates with organizations whose program includes "Sport
for all," at both national and international level (TAFISA, etc.). Sokol
sportsmen also represent the Czech Republic on world-wide gymnastic
In formation and photos excerpted from the Sokol website: http://www.sokol-cos.cz/English/History/history.html