PaedDr. Jaroslav Kozlík

* 1907  †︎ 2012

  • "Those were very hard times, we suffered through hunger, poverty and fear of what we were living through and what was coming. There was nothing to buy at shops, so I walked around the nearby villages and asked for food. It was flour, pollard, a bit of bacon, sometimes quark or an egg. In addition to hunger and poverty, there was nothing to wear, nothing to wash with. There was no soap or any washing liquids. As a result, we suffered from a bad case of scabies."

  • "And then there was the desired coup on twenty-eight of October 1918. I remember that as boys - I was seven, no, eleven years old - we would run around the town and tear off various remnants and symbols of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy."

  • "I went to Mr. Baťa and he looked at it, then got nervous and said: 'It's good, but there will be a running track under the ceiling.' I was shocked at the idea, and he said that when he was in America he would go jogging, and that there was a running track under the ceiling in the building. I started to explain that a school building and a runners' practice building are two different things. He disagreed, and that meant that you left without a signature and you were expected to come back with a modified proposal within two weeks. I didn't modify it, just submitted it as it was. He started to frown and I got nervous. When I saw him, me trying to explain it and him not understanding, I asked him a question: 'Mr. Baťa, you know, some people understand nuts and bolts, some do shoes, and I know a bit about physical education.' He looked at me in amazement and then signed it without a word, and he remembered me well after that."

  • "He had a gym in his villa, though it was not a gym, really, and there was a pool table in the middle. I didn't know; I was concerned about what to tell him, what we would talk about. We had to get to know each other. I was afraid. We bought gloves. We fought; he was heavy and strong, and I was agile." – "Did you do boxing?" – "We did boxing, we wrestled, we skipped rope… Interestingly, we ultimately became friends, just like brothers. Jan Baťa loved singing, so we always ended up walking around the pool table. But in the spring, we walked out, we jogged in the park and then we sung in his garden, and there were people going to work past the fence, and they watched me and Baťa going crazy." – "What time was the morning exercise?" – "That was from six to six twenty sharp, and then I went to the Čiperas."

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    Podolí a Netvořice, 21.04.2011

    (audio)
    duration: 07:09:03
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
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Ideas lead us, work feeds us, and love is what we live.

Portrét 1938.JPG (historic)
PaedDr. Jaroslav Kozlík
photo: přefoceno z archívu pamětníka

PaeDr. Jaroslav Kozlík was born on 24 May 1907 to a merchant family in Bystřice pod Hostýnem. His father soon went to World War 1 and the son assumed a part of the responsibility for the family. Jaroslav Kozlík joined the local Sokol organisation in 1920 and started regular exercises. He was a long-living legend of volleyball in the Czech Republic - he took part in the very first national championship in 1924, and won the title three times with his team. He became a tireless promoter of the sport. He graduated from the Teachers’ Institute in Kroměříž and started teaching. In 1930 he started working as a teacher in Baťa’s school in Zlín where he was actively involved in the concept for the development of Baťa’s schools and their sports facilities. He introduced a new approach to physical education as well as sports and language stays in nature to teaching. He became the personal coach to Jan Antonín Baťa who commissioned him to build a new type of school. Between 1945 and 1972, he worked at the Research Institute of Education in Prague, and was forced to leave due to his disapproval of the Russian armed forces’ presence in the country. He participated in the preparation of educational reforms in the 1990 despite his eyesight impairment. Mr. Jaroslav Kozlík died on 21 October 2012.