Semmelweis University will host the 50th Medic’s Cup, which will take place between 31 March and 2 April. Hundreds of students from four universities will participate at the three-day event competing in five sports. Last year, Semmelweis athletes won the overall competition.

In 1968, on the initiative of Dr. Vilmos Dani and Dr. István Sahin Tóth, medical students from Szeged and Budapest organized a basketball tournament. This was such a success that they competed in football the following year, handball in 1970 and volleyball in 1971. These matches can be considered the predecessor of the Medic’s Cup, which officially dates back to 1972, when the sports and the participating universities were consolidated.

For half a century now, the Medic’s Cup has been one of the most eagerly awaited events of the academic year, where students from four universities of the country (Semmelweis University, University of Szeged, University of Pécs, University of Debrecen) compete against each other. The teams are made up of medical students and students of health sciences. A new sport, ground wrestling, will also be introduced this year, but it is not part of the official competition.

There are matches in five sports (handball, basketball, volleyball, football, water polo). In handball, basketball and volleyball, both men’s and women’s teams compete, and last year, for the first time in the Cup’s history, women’s football matches were also played. It is not typical, but professional athletes can also compete in the tournament, but the number of athletes who can enter the field at the same time is limited. Referees are delegated by the respective federations.

The venue, and with it the hosting role rotates from year to year between medical universities. This year, Semmelweis University will host the three-day event from 31 March to 2 April. The matches will be played at the National University of Public Service and the FTC-MVM Népligeti Sports Centre.

“In addition to being the most outstanding medical and health university in the country and the region, Semmelweis University also has a strong tradition in sports. Students in most faculties have compulsory physical education classes throughout their studies, during which they can try their hand at a variety of sports. The university has its own volleyball, basketball, handball, futsal, cheerleading and water polo teams, and the Semmelweis University Sports Club offers a wide range of opportunities. We believe it is important not only to train excellent and conscientious professionals, but also to ensure that our students spend their free time in a healthy way. In my experience, team sport teaches you to take responsibility for others and to think in a community,” explained Dr. Béla Merkely, Rector.

“The mascot of the Semmelweis team is the lion. The figure will appear on the surfaces of the competitors and fans, on T-shirts and scarves. During the matches, the players will be encouraged by university cheerleaders, who will perform amazing acrobatic elements as a teaser and will also be an integral part of the closing ceremony,” Kornélia Várszegi, Director of the Centre for Physical Education and Sport at Semmelweis University, told our website.

The organization is coordinated by the staff of Dr. Éva Szabó Feketéné, Vice-Rector for Strategy and Development at Semmelweis University. The university staff, the members of the Students’ Union, the students and volunteers involved in the organization started working months before the Cup to give the participants and the public the best possible experience. 

At the 49th Medic’s Cup held last April in Pécs, Semmelweis University was the winner in four categories and in the overall competition. The decisive final points were scored by the men’s basketball team, whose members scored a last-second victory against the University of Debrecen.

“We are really preparing to defend our title on our home court. This is a huge motivation for the students,” said Kornélia Várszegi.

Gábor Kiss

Photo: Bálint Barta – Semmelweis University