Mosaics from heritage of ELTE – February 2024

Object of the month – Commemorative plaque of Trefort Ágoston Teacher Training High School

ELTE Trefort Ágoston Gyakorló Teacher Training High School has been committed to the high-level cultivation of teacher training and the creation of high-quality education since the beginning, but sport only gradually became part of the students' everyday life. Although in 1872 - the year the school was founded - there was a secondary school bill for four gym lessons a week, but until 1928 only two lessons a week were introduced. At the same time, however, the children's passion for sports made its way under the guidance of enthusiastic teachers.

In the 1898/99. academic year instead of a the former club, the literature and sports division was established: in bad weather, students read their own works or held lectures and analyzed works, while in good weather they played various sports, even organized a home football match.

In the following years, the sport club gradually expanded with the rise of various winter-summer, indoor and outdoor sports. For example, the swimming division was founded in 1926, and the beginnings were summarized in the school's yearbook (page 34): " setting it up, we not only opened up one of the most useful sports to the students, but also satisfied their wishes, as evidenced by the large number of members: 45 student entered the division. They held their practices once a week in the swimming pool of the Rudas Thermal Bath in the framework of „KISOSz” training under the leadership of Sándor Kugler."

In the 1940/41. academic year there were already 13 divisions within the sport club, the head of it was Miklüs Bély, the gym teacher of the high school. The students could play different sports, from table tennis to skiing, and in addition to practice lessons, they could also participate in institutional and KISOK (National Center for Sport Clubs of High Schools) competitions. The swimmers could measure themselves in various distances and events at the institutional competition organized on April 22, 1941.

In the school's collection, there is a commemorative plaque of the swimming division of the sport club, two metal plaques are attached to the white marble base. The upper circular plaque (diameter: 5 cm) depicts two men looking to the left. The figure in the back wears Roman or Greek dress (presumably representing Mars/Ares), and has one hand on the shoulder of the young man in the foreground, while the other holds up a small figure of Victoria/Nike, the goddess of victory, on a podium. The naked man in the foreground holds a flag over his right shoulder. The rim is decorated with a string of pearl motif, and below the image of the medal is the mark of the maker, medalist Lajos Berán (1882–1942). The inscription on the plaque is in Hungarian, its meaning is "PRACTICAL HIGH SCHOOL SPORT Club"

The lower, square plaque (4.5x1.5 cm) has a similar inscription, meaning: "SWIMMING / 1940-41 ACADEMIC YEAR" In the lower left corner of the plaque is the manufacturer's mark of Ludvig Ede.


Written by Mónika Marácz, Georgina Schlay

Source/author of illustration:
ELTE Trefort Ágoston Teacher Training High School, ELTE University Library and Archives