Super Soccer World 2014, a worldwide soccer tournament for teens who would like to use sports as an instrument for building relationships and for peace among different countries. There were 56 teams involved from various cities around the world.
A soccer tournament where the winner is not one team but two and from different parts of the planet sometimes very far from each other? Where Art Play is practiced and awarded? Where the sponsors are willing to donate an amount for every goal as a contribution to finance scholarships for teens from disadvantaged countries? Many initiatives and projects of solidarity? A “third playing time”…?
«This and many other things were part of the Super Soccer World 2014 – Federico Rovea, one of the organizers of the event shared with us. This sporting event was promoted by the “Teens for Unity” of the Focolare Movment and involved 56 soccer teams from various cities in the world».
Two teams win. Characteristic of the tournament is that the winners are the two teams of the twinned cities, which symbolically play together at a distance, giving the competition a planetary dimension.
Among the 14 twinnings: the teens of Bečej, a small city of Serbia, twinned with Tlencem in Algeria; those of Loppiano (Italy) with the teens of Florianópolis in Brazil, the Italian city of Rieti played simultaneously with Buenos Aires (Argentina).
This last twinning, just like all the others, was not just “ideal”. In fact during the tournament it was possible to have a telephone link-up with Argentina to share with the participating South Americans the same spirit of friendship and fraternity. The teens of Rieti shared – aside from the experience of the day – that also some projects of solidarity were born thanks to Super Soccer. And this was: the organization of a sports activity for disabled teens and fund-raising for those in need, through the sale of sweets. The parents present were also very much involved and enthusiastic about the initiative.
Art Play. On the sports fields, the teens put into practice – aside from their passion for the sport – also the spirit of Art Play. This meant four fundamental rules:
• Respect for the others
True cornerstones of the tournament that contributed to the points of the teams just as much as the goals scored. The referees watched out, therefore, not only for the respect of the rules of the game but also for the spirit which animated the players, giving a positive point to whoever distinguished himself in living it. «The teens were attentive to these rules just as much as they were to scoring goals. According to me, this rule must be inserted among the rules of the World Cup tournaments », affirmed one of the gymnastics professors involved in the organization of the event.
Scholarships. Linked to the tournament was also the project “Schoolmates”, with the proposal of finding a sponsor which, in every city, would be willing to donate an amount for every goal scored, as a financial contribution for the scholarships for teens coming from disadvantaged countries. The 367 goals scored gained € 2,370, for a total of 22 scholarships.
The “third playing time”. A moment of celebration shared with the participants to the sporting event and with the palyers, which contributed to bringing the spirit of the sports competition also outsied the playing field.
Super Soccer World, more of a celebration rather than a tournament, characterized by its being worldwide and by sharing, by solidarity and the respect for the other, that the teens had the possibility of experiencing within, and above all, outside of the soccer playing field. We’ll see each other again next year!