Osmani Trust’s under 14 team returned back from a life changing tour of Sweden after participating in the world biggest international youth football tournament, the Gothia Cup. The Osmani Trust team’s tour was made possible through the kind sponsorship of Canary Wharf PLC.
The team consisting of players from Tower Hamlets, Hackney and Islington were not only going to the Gothia to show their footballing talent but also deliver a very important message of peace and harmony via football. The Osmani Trust team were the first team in the history of the Gothia Cup to promote such an important message acting as ambassadors for the national ‘ Kick It Out football’s equality and inclusion campaign.Piara Powar,said:
"The young men involved were a credit to the Trust and as ambassadors for Kick It Out. Unity through football is one of the campaign’s fundamental messages and Osmani’s presence was very much in the spirit if this."
The team fared well against some very impressive professional teams and went out the tournament in the B cup knock out stage, having lost 3 matches in the last 30 seconds of each match. Abdal Ahmed, Football Development Manager at Osmani Trust said “I am extremely proud of the team; they gave it all they had but unfortunately luck was not on our side, but that’s was football is all about. Some of the pitches the boys played on were of fantastic quality and the large crowds made the players feel like professionals”.
The Gothia Cup held in the beautiful city Gothenburg played host to more than 15,000 teams from 61 different nations of the world, totalling 31,000 players and 7,000 coaches. The Osmani Trust team away from playing football used their time to meet new people from around the world and exchange dialog on experiences and the spread the message of peace and harmony.
Khairul Amin, team Captain said “This is the best trip I have been on in my life; the pitches were like the Emirates Stadium. I really enjoyed the football and meeting lots of people everyday; the best part was the opening ceremony”.
One of the most memorable impressions from this year’s Opening Ceremony was when 51.000 people “played” Guitar Hero. What an amazing experience! The grand finale with “We are the champions” and magnificent fireworks was another high point.
The trip to Sweden is not only a chance for the players to develop their football skills but also a chance for personal and social developments, for many this was the first time on a plane and visiting a different country. Abdal said “They boys learned some vital life skills and it was interesting to see how the group dynamics changed during the course of the trip. Many learned skills in budgeting their money and others learnt how to trust and communicate with different people. This will be an experience these boys remember for the rest of their lives”
Osmani Trust are planning on taking a team to the 2010 Gothia Cup, if you are interested please contact Abdal Ahmed on 020 7247 8080 or via firstname.lastname@example.org