Attracting more than 20,000 participants each year, Medimeisterschaften is a German sports festival for medical students from all over Europe. This year the event took place in June at Obermehler Airport in Schlotheim, Germany.
“We are proud of our great students who for the first time represented Vilnius University and Lithuania at Medimeisterschaften 2019! The slogan of this amazing summer camp was ‘Just Love’ and it was a great opportunity to express the tolerance, respect, community and creativity of Vilnius University and all our medical students, young doctors, and researchers to our colleagues in Europe,” Prof. Algirdas Utkus, the dean of the Faculty of Medicine, said.
Medimeisterschaften began as a football tournament between medical schools in 2002 in Bochum, Germany. All participants of the first Bochum MediMeisterschaften slept in gymnasiums. With the ever-increasing number of visitors, the event changed from a football tournament with a party to a sports festival with more than 24,000 visitors this summer. Nevertheless, football remains an essential part of the festival. In addition to football, there are also other sports competitions such as volleyball, basketball and bubble football.
Every year participants from different countries representing various European medical universities or faculties travel to Germany. Besides football games, many other activities such as concerts, lectures, and beach recreation are offered to the international students. Among its highlights are the charity matches.
The principle goal of Medimeisterschaften is to be a sports event where different people from different origins, cultures, religions and lifestyles get together. It supports constructive exchange, recognises the existence of many different opinions and emphasises that respect means accepting “no” for an answer and defending your opinion in other cases. “It protects our creations and obliges us to treat them with care. With it we show greatness through both successes and failures. With it we forgive our mistakes and recognise our weaknesses,” enthusiasts stated about this great festival.
“Twenty-seven representatives of Faculty of Medicine took part in this interesting event. Vilnius University’s campsite was located among campsites for other cities of Eastern Europe such as Riga, Budapest, Szczecin and Prague”, two of the main organizers from Vilnius Pia Richter and Anna Haerty confirmed.
The first day was mainly an assembling day, when the medical students from Lithuania built their tents and spent time at the chill-out area, where they had a set of tables and a small food truck. Lithuanian flags brought from their beloved alma mater were raised at each corner of the campsite so that everyone knew what this place was.
Throughout the camping period, the Lithuanians and their neighbours from other universities were in contact with each other and helped each other. In addition, they explored an area with lots of food courts and stages built by large universities from cities like Munich, Hamburg and Giessen. In any case, the most important place was the sports area. There were beach volleyball courts, basketball courts, and, most importantly, a football pitch.
On the first night the organisation Medis conducted a welcoming event with lots of wonderful music. Songs were performed by participants from various universities and, of course, by people from Vilnius University, too.
The next day there were many beach volleyball, basketball and bubble football competitions in which teams from Vilnius University successfully participated and even won a few. In between the sports activities, there was an opportunity to attend different seminars of international experts on anaesthesiology, first aid, eco-friendly lifestyle, health, medicine, etc. On the evening of that day, different bands and musicians entertained the participants. The concert was accompanied by a cheerleader challenge that nearly every university participated in.
One day of the festival is traditionally dedicated exclusively to football. From early morning, more than 150 different football teams fought for the title. During the day, besides the matches, challenging workshops were again offered. Later that night, a gala evening with an awards ceremony, fireworks, and live music took place.
The last day of the event was declared sports free. It was used to discover the fair booths that were created by different universities or the event managers. There was, for example, the possibility to donate money to save a chosen species of animals, to print T-shirts, and to play various games with students from other countries.
When the time came to say goodbye, it was quite difficult for the participants to part with their new friends. But everyone understood that now the most important thing was to study hard and in summer everyone would be able to meet again and enjoy life through medical science, sports, music, friendship and love at Medimeisterschaften 2020!
Text is based on students - Pia Richter and Anna Haerty - narrative.