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22 April 2020 | in NUSF News

Polish sports doing good in their neighbourhoods during COVID-19 lockdown

AZS bus 1Przemysław Jagielski (foreground) and many others inside and outside the sports community have turned to action to assist the medical community during the COVID-19 pandemic

We take part in sport to improve our body and spirit, feel the sense of community, and make new friends. Unfortunately, in the times of pandemic and all-round lockdown around the globe, sports events have had to be cancelled or postponed. But not our spirit! FISU is collecting inspiring stories about members who don’t sit still during the coronavirus.


Today our story comes from Poland, the city of Lodz. The chair of AZS sports club at Lodz Technical University, Przemysław Jagielski, couldn’t stay in home confinement and decided to apply his knowledge of event organisation for the good of his local community. In the light of the ever-growing number of COVID-19 cases around the country, doctors are working 24/7. And while they are caring for those during this vulnerable period, somebody has to also take care of them. 

AZS bus 4The AZS sports club bus from Lodz Technical University has turned into a reliable transportation that delivers 300-400 meals a day to infectious hospitals, hospital emergency wards, and laboratories


Like many like-minded people, Przemysław turned to action in response to assisting the medical community while their event-hosting work is totally frozen. Together, these people founded a nation-wide initiative called Meals on Call (Polish #WzywamyPosiłki) to provide hearty and healthy provisions for medical staff during the pandemic. 


It is hard to have a minute with Prezemysław since then because there is always somebody on the second line. Przemysław is running coordination between curriers and hospitals in Lodz and its surrounding environs. His backyard has turned into both a warehouse and logistical centre. He should receive orders, check the supplies and make sure the consignment reaches the neediest destination. The initiative operates centrally from Warsaw, but it has its coordination centres throughout the country.


Przemysław is responsible for 17 infectious hospitals, hospital emergency wards, laboratories that process probes and emergencies. Working around the clock, Przemysław and his team deliver 300-400 meals a day to 117 different medical facilities. 


AZS bus 2From picking up supplies to delivering meals, the AZS bus has been a rolling advertisment for the spirit of university sport. Przemysław says after this passes, he won't any problems finding lifeguards or paramedics for sports events.

“We have been working as volunteers for more than a month. Before I acted anonymously but now since we have to deal with many people I decided to go out of the shade,” said Przemysław. “The fact that people know my name gives a personal touch when we arrange things. 


“We have huge companies sponsoring us with food and beverages,” added Przemysław. “Among those are IKEA, KFC, Pizza Hut, Dominos. Some of them are providing us with around 100 meals daily.


Some smaller companies also want to help, but soon they run out of resources. It is worth remembering that this time sustainability is what matters. That’s why we ask them if they are willing to help, to not overdo it. We’d rather have 10-15 meals a day from them regularly than receive a big consignment but only once.” 


AZS bus 3Poland's nation-wide initiative Meals on Call (#WzywamyPosiłki) has been providing hearty and healthy provisions for medical staff throughout the pandemic 

Organisers of this initiative invest their own resources as well. Like Przemysław, who agreed with the Polish University Sport Federation to lend the club bus for meal delivery duties. It is a branded AZS bus, so willy-nilly Przemysław is advertising university sport. He is sure that after the pandemic is over, he won’t have problems to find lifeguards and paramedics for his sports events. 


To date, the number of delivered meals around Poland is more than 100,000. And there will be many more until the pandemic is over. Yet the all-volunteer team is earnest and optimistic. Przemysław says they are going to celebrate the end of this story at a concert of a Polish pop star, whose manager is now working in their team.


Written by Tatsiana Andrushka