International Children’s Games athletes given special Football for Friendship award

 At the closing ceremony of the International Children’s Games (ICG) in Ufa, Young Ambassadors of the Gazprom International Children’s Social Programme Football for Friendship awarded the participants of the competitions with special trophies “For Commitment to the Nine Values”.

Football for Friendship recently has finished the Seventh Season by setting a new world record. The programme continues to promote common human values. On July 9-14, the Young Ambassadors of Football for Friendship from Bolivia, China, India, the Netherlands, and Russia shared their experience with the participants of the ICG 2019 in Ufa.

The Young Ambassadors have visited sports facilities, watched the ICG athletes, and with the help of judges chose those that have shown commitment to the Nine Values: friendship, equality, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, traditions, and honour. For example, helping others in difficult situations, showing good will, supporting team spirit and other examples of teamwork.

Anastasiya Kolokolchikova (Ufa, Russia), Ilya Vasilyev (Ufa, Russia), Asipauskas Nojus (Panevezys, Lithuania), Ruslan Khmelov (Neftekamsk, Russia), Anton Tuktarev (Neftekamsks, Russia), Leibovich Liel Rahel (Netanya, Israel), Zombo Mate Laszlo (Sopron, Hungary), Szanto Bulcsu (Sopron, Hungary), Jonas Marijus (Vilnius, Lithuania) received the award for sporting behavior according to the principles of fair play and the Nine Values of the Football for Friendship programme.

“Dignity, strength of character, kindness must be the basis of the personality of every human, and it would be great if they were accepted as norms of conduct. Unfortunately, such qualities are rare. We would like to draw special attention to showing inner strength and humanity, and to how important it is. SO that the kinds that receive this award remember it, as well as everyone that was united by the ICG. Once again we got the chance to remind a large international audience about the Nine Values,” says Jennifer Chavez Suarez, Young Ambassador from Bolivia.

Within the framework of the ICG, there were other events of Football for Friendship held in Ufa. On July 9, Young Journalist from India Ananya Kamboj represented the programme at a press conference, and the next day she told the participants of the ICG about Football for Friendship at the opening ceremony.

On July 13, on the main stadium of the FC Ufa right after the final of the ICG football competitions there was held a match in accordance with the principle of Football for Friendship: children that played for the teams of their cities for several days, at that moment played side by side with former rivals. Team Freddy beat team Freida 3:2. According to the rules of Football for Friendship, Young Ambassadors of the programme became coaches and referees. Ex-captain of the Russian national football team, director of the Football Union of Russia on regional policies and international relations Alexey Smertin and the manager and trainer coach of Team Alkmaar (the Netherlands) Gerard Timmers helped the kids train.

Participants of the ICG were leaving Ufa with Friendship Bracelets tied on their wrists. The Friendship Bracelet is an official symbol of the programme: the blue string symbolizes the peaceful sky, and the green one a football field available for everyone.

The 53rd International Children’s Games were held in Ufa on July 9-14, 2019. PJSC Gazprom was the General Sponsor of the Games. Ufa welcomed 1192 athletes (669 boys and 523 girls) and 347 heads of teams, coaches, guests of honour from 84 cities of 29 countries. 87 sets of medals were awarded to the athletes. Ufa became the first city in history of the ICG to host both winter and summer games. More than 270 judges and 400 volunteers worked at the ICG in Ufa.