FAR AWAY, SO CLOSE!
Evonik meets … Ondřej Vašek
Ondřej Vašek was born in the small Czech city of Kyjov in 2002. He is studying mathematics and geography for education at the Faculty of Science in Olomouc, Czech Republic, and will become a teacher one day.
When, how and why did you become a Borussia Dortmund fan?
“My grandfather and my uncle are casual Bayern Munich fans. Thankfully, I never liked the color red as a kid, so it was never an option for me to follow suit. That said, I regularly watched football, especially Bundesliga games, with them at the weekend and that’s how I became aware of Borussia Dortmund. I absolutely loved those incredible fans and Marco Reus soon became my favorite player. The first time I watched a Dortmund game, I fell in love instantly.”
Have you ever been to SIGNAL IDUNA PARK? If so, which was the most important game?
“So far, I’ve been to the stadium eight times. The most important game was the very first one, the 2–0 win against Bayern in the 2019 Super Cup final. My friends and I drove the 900 km to Dortmund in a rented van for eight people. The moment I stepped inside the stadium for the first time and my childhood dream came true was really overwhelming.”
Your fan club is called “Schwarzgelbe Bienen”. Why that name? What’s your home base and where do you watch Borussia’s games?
“When we set up our fan club, we looked for a name that was as closely linked to Borussia Dortmund as possible. I think we succeeded. Don’t look for any other special meaning here. Most of our members are based in South Moravia, near Osvětimany. The others are spread all over the Czech and Slovak republics, including the capitals of Prague and Bratislava – we are active in both countries. First and foremost, we want to bring Borussia fans together in our countries, raise the general awareness of Borussia Dortmund and buy tickets for our members. We organize three major events during the year: First, in the spring, there’s a bus trip for 50 people to a home game in Dortmund. Then, in the summer, we stage a football tournament for all fan clubs, including those of the big five Czech league teams. Last year, 12 teams and about 200 people participated. And the final event is our fan club get-together where we meet for a whole weekend, discuss the fan club events of the past year, make new plans, have a drink and watch a Borussia game.”
What do you think about former famous players like Jan Koller, Tomas Rosicky and Patrik Berger?
“By the time I became a die-hard supporter, they had already left Borussia. But I regard all of them as great players. And, of course, they are a link between our favorite team and the Czech Republic. We would like to invite them to our events in the future, but they are all swamped, so it’s quite a challenge.”
Interview: Uwe Schedlbauer
In this section, our main sponsor Evonik, who supports us at all of our international games, lets soccer fans who feel close to Borussia Dortmund but live nowhere near SIGNAL IDUNA PARK have their say.
Born in Prague, Mirko Votava played for Borussia Dortmund for eight years, during which time he became not only a crowd pleaser but also a member of Germany’s national squad. Yet he remains the only player from what is today’s Czech Republic never to win the Bundesliga title with Borussia Dortmund. Patrik Berger, Jan Koller and Tomáš Rosický all lifted the trophy in triumph. And every one of them displayed excellent ball skills for the positions in which they played. Football aside, the Czech Republic is a nation where technical expertise ranks highly. Today, the automotive, electrical engineering and chemical industries as well as food production are major sectors of the country’s economy. Evonik, the specialty chemicals group based in Essen, Germany, delivers special solutions for all these fields. The company ensures that, also in the Czech Republic, products are made more efficient, lightweight and durable, frequently boasting significant sustainability benefits.