Grassroots football tourney to unite youth
The European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) cluster in Namibia launched the EUNIC 2017 Youth Football Tournament set for 30 September at the Windhoek International School (WIS) under the theme ‘Youth Unite’.
Under-15 boys and girls of Windhoek High School, St George’s Diocesan School, Concordia College, Jan Jonker Secondary School, Jakob Marengo Secondary School, Physically Active Youth Namibia, Fidel Castro School and Marthi Ahtisaari Secondary School have formed teams and are to compete representing a EUNIC Namibia member (Goethe-Institut Namibia, Franco Namibian Cultural Centre, Embassy of Finland, Instituto Camoes, British Council, Embassy of Portugal, Embassy of Spain and the European Union Delegation in Namibia) and Namibia.
The top three teams are to walk away with medals and one of three group activities: go-karting, archery and indoor climbing. A series of films from Europe on football will also be screened at the Goethe-Institut Namibia and WIS.
In a statement, EU Ambassador to Namibia, Jana Hybaskova said the EUNIC event promotes unity in diversity, which is not only applicable in Europe, but also in Namibia and to the formation of a Namibian identity. “The EUNIC Football Tournament is an activity that promotes cooperation, teamwork and fair-play, and can assist in bridging cultural gaps,” said Hybaskova.
She also made note of the upcoming African Union (AU)-EU Summit in Abidjan in November, which will be preceded by the 4th Africa-Europe Youth Summit and the EU-AU ‘Youth Plug-In Initiative’. The overarching theme is ‘Investing in Youth’ as 2017 is also the AU year of “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend Through Investments in Youth”.
Speaking at the media conference, Director of the Goethe-Institut Namibia and EUNIC Cluster in Namibia President Daniel Stoevesandt said “Football is a way of engaging with the youth and coexisting while respecting the diversity of culture and languages, and taking the first step of cultural development through interaction. Namibia is our partner and this is one way of engaging with our partner to foster unity within a diverse environment.”
Head Coach of the tournament, Eliaser Nadhipite said the teams comprise of boys and girls. “We want to break that barrier and stereotype of football teams only comprising of boys and that the two sexes can’t play together,” he said.
Meanwhile, each EUNIC Namibia member State elected a school for their representation: Germany – Windhoek High School; Namibia – Concordia College; Finland – Marthi Ahtisaari Secondary School; France – Jan Jonker Secondary School; Spain – Physically Active Namibia; Portugal – Jakob Marengo Secondary School; Great Britain – Fidel Castro School; and European Union – St George’s Diocesan School.
Caption: Delegates of the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) Cluster in Namibia pose for the media at the launch of the 2017 EUNIC Youth Football Tournament.