On October 27, 2012 “Fiolent” Stadium in Simferopol, Ukraine gathered 36 young people from Mykolaiv, Kherson oblasts and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea to participate in inter-regional football tournament. The tournament aimed to promote “Fair Play” methodology and foster peer-to-peer exchange among young people. The event was held in the framework of “Young Football Volunteers: Sport and Volunteering for MDG” (YFV) project, supported by UN Volunteers Programme, UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace, UN Development Programme, Ukraine’s Football Federation, State Service for Youth and Sports (SSYS) and German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ).
The football competition was organized among the most active participants of the Project who formed three youth teams. Rural girls and boys 13-14 years of age nobly strived for victories in the tournament, and each team won in one game. Despite the fact that Kherson’s team lost the first game,” their strong team spirit and activeness of the coach led the team to victory in the tournament.
All participants of the tournament were awarded with medals and diplomas of the YFV Project and prizes. The main prize at the tournament was visit to football match of Premier League teams of Ukraine "Tavria" vs. "Shakhtar". In addition to the football competition, young people together with the coaches were actively involved in the information session dedicated to promoting active healthy lifestyle among young people and HIV awareness. The participants expressed creativity and enthusiasm.
“It is a great pleasure to see the positive results of our work, the way youth acquires healthy lifestyle knowledge and skills, develop teamwork and gender equality skills, and all this via amusing game play”, explains Dmytro Sai, UN Volunteer, Youth Development Specialist in Mykolaiv oblast.
“We are thankful to the Project for the opportunity to involve our youth in this development event. For them this is a completely new unexplored world, given that most of them hardly knew what MDG mean and how to prevent HIV, and even have never visited the capital of Crimea
”, explains S.V. Chernousov
, coach of Chernobayevskiy educational complex of Belozerskiy region, Kherson oblast.
According to Odina Salihbaeva, Coordinator of the Project “Young Football Volunteers: Sport and Volunteering for MDG”, “The uniqueness of the YFV Project and development through football methodology is based on the fact that the main share of the Project’s activities is organized by the volunteers – where teachers and coaches take initiative to participate in the Project’s trainings and events on voluntary basis and transfer knowledge to their students. In other words, the coaches become role models for the young people, motivating and encouraging them to become more active citizens and aspiring leaders.
The present tournament is organized in follow-up of a number of project activities held to integrate “Fair Play” methodology. This methodology is focused on educating the rural youth on healthy lifestyles, HIV and violence prevention and other indispensable life-skills through playful and interactive football events. In the framework of the event, the trainers also shared experiences on the Project implementation and ways to involve rural youth.
The Project “Young Football Volunteers: Sport and Volunteering for MDG” is implemented under support of UN Volunteers Programme, UN Development Programme, the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace in cooperation with the State Service for Youth and Sports (SSYS), and Football Federation of Ukraine. The Project was launched in May 2012 and will continue till 2015. The events within the Project take place in rural regions of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea, Kherson and Mykolaiv oblasts.
The Project aims to educate 300 trainers and teachers on youth development through football methodology, support 75 MDG-related community-based youth initiatives, and strengthen health and civic engagement of more than 6000 young people.