On April the 7th & 8th UMB - University of Matej Bel Banska Bystrica was hosting an Transnational Project Meeting. It took place in Hotel Lux in the wide city centrum of Banska Bystrica. The meeting was held under the supports of EU Erasmus+ project, whose intention is to develop the dual career opportunities in Europe. Participants of the meeting where representatives from Slovakia, Czech republic, Poland, Sweden and Estonia. Most of the representatives are people from hockey teams who are members of European University Hockey Association.

The mail aim of transnational Project Meeting in Banska Bystrica was to show how the examination of dual career might work in praxis. Matej Bel University with its own hockey team is creating dual career opportunities already for 5 years. The whole agenda was align to show good case practices and share ideas with conference participants. On the other hand the was a space to brainstorm new ideas how to improve the process of creating dual career opportunities and involve more university as itself to the process.

Before the Transnational Project Meeting  has started, participants were invited to multiplier sport event - friendly ice-hockey game of UMB Hockey team and Gladiators Trencin.

The Transnational Project Meeting was opened by general manager of UMB Hockey team Milan Kysel, who was at the same time conference manager. Mr. Kysel was presenting goals of the conference and also whole agenda and activities for next two days.

Following speaker was doc. Ing. Vladimír Hiadlovský, PhD., rector of Matej Bel University in Banska Bystrica. Mr. Hiadlovsky was speaking about importance of dual career in young person’s life. He was mentioned also university hockey team and opportunities which were created thanks to the hockey team and offered to young people, students of UMB but also for high school students. The main focus was not only on players which are students at the same time, but also on students / volunteers who are actually helping to run the team. Those volunteers are working in marketing, event management, journalism and other important focus areas. University is glad that those students understand how important is practical experience and how volunteerism can help to gain practical skills.

After rectors speech there was a networking lunch following. It was a good opportunity to network on informal basis, especially with rector.

Next part in conference agenda where three presentations lead by Mr. Kysel, Lukas Opath (sport director and head coach) and Marek Janik (assistant coach). Mr. Kysel was presenting the start of UMB Hockey team and its 5 years journey which was called “from zero to hero”. It was about creating a tool how to develop young people and how to create dual career opportunities for them through participation in hockey team management and hockey play as itself.

Mr. Opath and Mr. Janik presented concrete work with young hockey players. The main focus was on how to develop them as a people. Usually young players about age 18 enter the hockey club, they have no respect, no values and this where the work of coaches is starting. They were presenting how they try to develop players in this field. 

The last of three presentations was held again by Mr. Kysel and it was about volunteering. How the team is attracting volunteers and what kind opportunities is creating for them. Nowadays hockey team is surrounded by more than 20 volunteers, mainly student but also alumni. They are helping to run the team and at the same time they are gaining many skills while executing different activities.

All three presentation were followed by round of Q&As. Participants could also ask questions during the presentations. It was an interactive part of conference. Please find the presentation here

The last two parts of conference day 1 were discussion tables and documentary night. Discussion tables were focus on managers’ work. All participants were divided into smaller groups. All groups discussed three main topics: Cooperation with universities (ideas for field of cooperation); Direct work with student-athletes/volunteers (motivation, what kind of positions, what can we give them); Marketing / How to attract more people (how to get more spectators, how to get quality players, partners, volunteers). Participants were discussing, brainstorming and writing down all ideas.

Finally the last part of connected with seminar room. It was a documentary night. UMB Hockey team created one documentary movie and one documentary series (3 parts) which were showing  they work with student-athletes and volunteers. This was very interesting part for all participants. Documents were made by students of filming.

The day was finishing with networking dinner outside of hotel in a historical restaurant. This was a great end of the day. Everybody shared they thoughts from first day. Participants were talking about new ideas coming from presentations and discussions. The day opened mind to many of them.

Day 2 started with networking breakfast and continued with discussion tables from last day. Participants had many new ideas thanks to last night networking dinner. After the discussions finished, all group facilitators presented they ideas and Mr. Kysel prepared a short wrap up of the whole conference. All participants were invited to last part, which was a lunch.