It is unbelievable, but despite the reputation of the Czech Post, its female employees had a huge surprise in store. They won the World Cup organized by the UN in New York. Even though the ladies hardly knew each other, they had a single training session, most of the team had never played football before, so they didn't even own proper shoes, and moreover, it was their first time on a plane!
The team had a chance to demonstrate their skills at the Global Goals World Cup, which was held on Wenceslas Square in Prague this May, with 24 participating teams. Among them were, for example, kindergarten and elementary school teachers or employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. But as soon as the squad called Yellow Ladies entered the scene, everything was decided.
The eight mail ladies from different parts of the Czech Republic had met once before the tournament in Prague. And they were certain they would win. Still, it was a shock and a huge excitement when they found out they would be traveling across the ocean. A government special was even dispatched for these women aged between 28 and 45. Their accommodation was paid for by the Czech Post.
"There were women on the team who had never been on a plane. Nevertheless, they enjoyed the eight hour long flight, because they spent it chatting. And they were really excited about the opportunity,"
Although the Yellow Ladies really didn't have any experience, they managed to defeat a Greek refugee team in the semi-final and a Saudi Arabia team in the final.
"We couldn't believe that we had really won. It was really something out of this world, the joy, the emotion, the overwhelming feelings. I will never forget it, it was a lifetime experience,"
shared the goalkeeper, a mail lady from Prague Dana Jakubcová, adding that the last time she kicked a ball, she was a child.
A total of 15 women's teams from various countries all over the world entered the finals in New York. In addition to the employees of the Czech Post, employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also made their way to the international round. They landed on the fifth place. Actor Nikolai Coster-Waldau, who is also a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Development Program, blew the final whistle in New York.
Once the winners had been announced, the ladies immediately headed for the nearest bar to celebrate their victory. Apparently, the event had gained notoriety, because even the Americans were buying them shots.
The ladies spent five days together in New York. Only one day was taken up by the football match, which gave them plenty of time to explore the city.
"We've been everywhere, we've walked through the entire New York. We even visited their post office. It's bigger, but more outdated than ours," the Czech mail ladies say with a laugh.
Football had brought together women from all over the country, and now they're hoping that their friendship as well as their passion for sport will last, so that they could play together again next year.
The football tournament took place in New York on 25 September, during a week of the UN General Assembly session. Each team fought for one of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, agreed upon by a UN member states in 2015. It is part of the Agenda 2030, which defines the world in 2030 and proposes specific undertaking to tackle the economic, environmental and social challenges we are currently facing.
The Czech Post let all its employees vote on the choice of the goal that the mail ladies would represent. According to Selichar, the question of health and quality of life is one they are invested in. "We have a breast cancer and melanoma prevention program at the post, and we test for melanoma. As far as breast cancer is concerned, there was a big event where all the women receieved an invitation for an examination at a mammography center. All new employees get a self-examination brochure and has different options to meet prevention requirements," she said.