Ivan Matéjic

Ivan Matéjic


Just a few years ago I was a typical grammar school students fulfilling his school tasks and not doing much more. I can’t even say I was hugely dissatisfied with it, only that since I had too much free time after school, so I was often bored. One day I decided to change and I said to myself “That was enough, I need to start doing something with myself”. Thanks to inspiration that came from my school I started the DofE challenge.

Completing the awards was one of the best decisions so far, although at the time of deciding I had no idea about all the things that would I would start later.

The school choir Mendík represented a truly extraordinary activity for me. I myself first had a problem in accepting it, since I could not imagine myself singing in a choir. The choir master, who is also our music education teacher, was however of a different opinion. Despite the fact that I was full of prejudice in the beginning, thinking that choir was just for girls, and being ashamed of even imagining myself in it, after some time I agreed to come for a rehearsal.

I came to listen and I stayed to increase the numbers in the choir that has more than fifty pupils from across all grades. I have never before witnessed such energy and joy of doing something together. It was amazing and it hasn’t changed since. We have concerts and we go for training sessions both domestically and abroad. I met many new people, made new friends and most importantly I discovered an activity that I find fulfilling.

Choosing a sports activity wasn’t easy either. I used to play tennis, but due to health problems with my back I had to give it up. I was recommended to start swimming, which I resisted in the beginning, since my swimming abilities were no exactly great. In the end I gave swimming a chance and I am grateful I did, as it became a part of my life and along helping me to relax it also benefits my back.

Probably the most striking experience that DofE brought me was the week-long expedition in Israel. We spent the days by encountering the desert conditions in the Nagev Desert, by swimming in the Dead Sea, walking to Jericho, watching the Bethlehem and Jerusalem and visiting the Holy Grave. Together with my friends and co-participants we saw the beauty and contrasts of this contradictory country.

It is rather hard to describe what it is like to be part of DofE, it is simply something that has to be tried personally, because DofE is about yourself, your experience and your dreams. I am grateful that one moment made me change from being lazy to being active whilst completing the award. I would like to thank my professor Mr. Kojan, who has guided me on my DofE journey.


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