The second all-Ukrainian youth street football cup “Caritas Cup 2017” took place on June, 3. The sport event brought together 120 young footballers aged 13-16 from 11 Ukrainian cities. The team from Brody gained the victory in a fierce battle. The second and the third place was given to teams from Kreminna and Kyiv.
Nowadays, the street football culture and a principle of “sport for everybody” are getting more and more popular among the youth in Ukraine. This year, a number of “Caritas Cup” participants doubled compared to the last year. Teenagers from Kyiv, Lviv, Khmelnytskyi, Kolomyya, Dnipro, Zaporizhzhia, Kreminna (Luhansk oblast), Brody, Kamianske, Odesa and Fastiv presented their teams. The event was organized by the International charitable foundation “Caritas Ukraine” with support from the Ministry of Youth and Sport and the Football Federation of Ukraine.
The championship has established a new trend in the Ukrainian sport environment: communication between the participants is more important than the victory. Players are of boys and girls of different ages and fitness levels. Compliance with the rules, mutual respect and the fair play principle are the most decisive factors for every match.
The players are teenagers who attend Caritas social centers. Generally, they are young people in difficult situations and children from crisis families, who receive the social and psychological support to develop their strengths. Although these teenagers have poorer initial conditions, they shape themselves by improving their personality and mastering their temper. For them, football is a tool for unification, interaction, setting and achieving their goals.
On June 2, prior to the start of the championship, all the participants visited NSC Olimpiyskiy, where they took part in master classes of street sports such as roller-skating and skateboarding. After that, children joined an excursion in the Museum of Achievements Klitschko Brothers. The day finished with an inspiring film about Pele, the best Brazilian footballer player of the 20th century. On Saturday, June 3, matches took place all day long. To judge them, the professionals from the Football Federation were invited.
‘We noticed that this year, teenagers are more open and eager to meet each other and communicate. They share their experience in trainings and preparation for the championship. Teenagers do not behave as competitors, they act as a close-knit group united by a big common cause’, a social worker of Caritas Lviv Youth Social Center, Yuliia Herulia says.
The concept of the street football culture is quite similar to our principles for working with teenagers: accept others as they are, stay on equal terms, respect, trust and cooperate within the team. We see our children playing football and understand that they are a new, tolerate and wise generation. We do believe that we will be able to help them expand the horizons, and plan to hold the championship in future’, organizer of “Caritas Cup 2017”, Iryna Pukhniak concludes.