Memorial plaque unveiling and X. József Zupkó Handball Tournament at the Rákóczi College

The “GENIUS” Charity Foundation in cooperation with the Ferenc Rákóczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian College and the Sports Academy Centre of the Hungarian Handball Federation organized the X. József Zupkó Handball Tournament on 20 May.

At the beginning of the event, the Pro Cultura Subcarpathica NGO (PCS) recalled the historical background of Rákóczi’s War of Independence, commemorating the events of 1703 with a flag-raising ceremony.

Following that, Natália Váradi, the office director of the “GENIUS” Foundation and the organizer of the program, greeted the attendees, recalling the past 10 years of the József Zupkó Handball Tournaments.

In her welcome speech, Ildikó Orosz, the president of Rákóczi College, emphasized that this is a jubilee occasion. Thanks to the work of the “GENIUS” Foundation and its collaborators, as well as the teachers of the students, this competition has become a Transcarpathian event over the past ten years.

“Today’s memorial tournament coincides with the commemoration of the 1703 flag raising, when Tamás Esze and his team unfolded the flags of the Kuruc uprising here in Beregszász. By uniting the people of Rákóczi under one flag, it brought together Hungarians, Ruthenians and Romanians living here. And we, together with you, are the descendants of this Kuruc people, who show their position in peace and in other events. Consider this Zupko tournament as a tribute to our ancestors. Fight as our ancestors fought under the flag, on which the inscription ‘Cum Deo, pro Patria et Libertate’ (With God for Fatherland and Liberty) was visible. And on another banner of our prince Rákóczi, he proclaimed: ‘God will not abandon the just cause’. And the fact that we are here, 300 years later, is proof of that,”

she emphasized.

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Fülöp Barna, the Consul of the Hungarian Consulate in Beregszász, praised the organizers’ work, thanks to which children can escape from their challenging daily lives and have the opportunity to showcase their talents.

“I visited here for the first time last year when we, together with Mrs. President, the ‘GENIUS’ Foundation and Károly Rezes, the chairman of the District Council, started planning the future of handball. I can proudly say that our plans have been fully realized,”

said István Juhász, the Head of Handball Academy at Hungarian Handball Federation (MKSZ). Then, Károly Rezes expressed his joy that nearly 400 children are participating in the tournament today, as the past years have been challenging due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the war, making it difficult to organize the competition.

Finally, Zoltán Magyar, the captain of the Hungarian Parliamentary Football Team, and István Csernicskó, the rector of the Rákóczi College wished the participants of the handball competition good luck.

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Following the ceremonial opening, the memorial plaque of József Zupkó was unveiled on the exterior wall of our college’s Health and Sports Center in both Hungarian and Ukrainian languages. At the beginning of the unveiling, we heard the biography of József Zupkó in both languages.

Afterwards, Ildikó Orosz and István Juhász unveiled the Hungarian-language plaque, while István Csernicskó and Anna Greba, former teacher of the Rákóczi College, ten-time European Cup champion, former member of the Soviet Union and Ukrainian national handball teams, sports master, unveiled the Ukrainian-language plaque. Then, the attendees placed their wreaths of tribute.

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After the unveiling of the memorial plaque, the X. József Zupkó Handball Tournament began.

Anita Kurmay