Prague is a city with a tremendous love of sport and the outdoors. The region of Bohemia is synonymous with feelings of freedom and nature. Sadly over the years the city has sub-consicously forgotten the roots it was born from and the surroundings it finds itself in. Instead of embracing the beauty of what we have then instead the desire of wanting more has taken precidence.
Although in recent years we have seen people in power within Prague try, and sometimes successfully change this approach, for some areas it seems like it may be too late. Football, like many other sports and recreational activities is no stranger to this upsetting trend to demolish and not replace our outside spaces. It is vitaly important that children and adults alike have more opportunities to stay fit, learn skills and build relationships.
In the Summer of 2021 the Raptors had a unique opportunity to use the pitch at Erpet to train and play friendly games for a few months. Unsurprisingly it was one of the best Summers in our short existence. The location and set-up of the facilities meant that it was instantly accessible to a much wider audience of sports lovers than we could have imagined. Young kids came from around the city, including the neighboring apartment blocks to play every weekend. We had big events such as club award ceremonies, our very own 'raptors olympics' and a FREE 'football for girls' promotion that included bouncy castles.
Unfortunately that period did not last beyond the Summer and we once again had to leave, not only dismantling the ability for our adult & youth teams to spend time together but also leaving many of the local kids without a team - they could not follow us to Malešice, meaning some of them just quit their footballing journey.
Raptors President, Daz Moss, adds:
"We strongly stand by the thoughts of Za lepší Smíchov. As a club we would love the chance to build something that not only our players could use but also the local community. I really think that an amazing sporting centerpiece to the area could be created with our help - not only to host training and matches for us but a place that families and friends from Smíchov could come together and use as well. We have some funds and ideas behind that dream but at the same time, even if it is to be a home without the Raptors, we believe it should be a home for football and sport"
As with all places in the world change will occur and is regularly needed, but in this instance we feel the city, and especially Smíchov would benefit much more from the laughter of children, cheering of supporters & building of friendships than a few thousand extra breeze blocks.