By Jakub Kopřiva
For Helena Novotná of Joudrs Praha, who is also a member of the extended roster of the Czech Women’s National Team, softball is her daily bread all day every day. Apart from performing well on the field, she has also been doing excellent work in the area of communication and promotion for her club and at top international tournaments. Now, she will be given an opportunity to put the experience she acquired to a test as the new Head of Communication at the European Softball Federation.
You may be familiar with Helena as the first base woman for the “A” squad of the Joudrs, who won silver in the Czech Extraliga and gold at the Czech Softball Association Cup. At the same time, you may have met her at the European Championships last year and at the World Championships this summer wielding a mobile phone or a camera. She and her husband Slavomír are the people responsible for the successful video-project called “the Dailies.” This summer at the World’s in Holland, the couple took care of the official facebook profile, which was followed by more than 6,000 fans from all over the world. It was no easy job, especially due to the terrible weather that plagued the tournament, but Helena and Slavomír did a terrific job indeed.
The top management of ESF could barely fail to see the kind of job Helena and her husband did, and thus they decided to use Helena’s experience with the promotion of softball on a long-term basis. “This is a huge step forward for the ESF. They finally set up a paid position to be in charge of communication, promotion and the media. It represents the first step towards the intended shift in communication and accessibility of the federation. Until now, there has never been a single person who would be responsible for this important area. From now on, there will be a person in charge of this agenda who will have to meet deadlines and make sure everything runs smoothly,” said Helena, smiling. She has already proven to everybody that she is the right person for this job thanks to all the work she did at prestigious international tournaments.
The offer came at exactly the right time, as Novotná is about to go back to work from maternity leave, so she was already looking for new career challenges. Working for European softball is definitely the right challenge for the 24-year-old student at the Charles University in Prague. “Only when it all starts will I be able to see how much of my time it will actually take. But for me, who has to do school work, practice, take care of my family and do other stuff, the set-up is almost perfect.”
Another thing that comes into the picture is the fact that she has recently been included in the extended roster for the Czech national team. “We naturally discussed this both with the Head Coach of the national team, as well as with ESF representatives. It’s definitely not ideal, but I am ready to face the challenge. People in the national team understand that this is my job, and people at the ESF know that one does not turn down the chance to represent one’s country,” says the potential member of the national squad at the European Championships in Holland next year.