Lugano, Switzerland—“Peace Cup” football tournaments for youngsters were held this year in Switzerland, Italy and Albania.
The year 2019 is significant for our association, because for the first time we had the opportunity to hold three fair-play football tournaments, each of them in a different nation but under the same motto: “Play football, build peace.”
In the Swiss canton of Ticino, the Peace Cup event has become so popular that two sports associations have asked us to help them to organize Peace Cup tournaments in their towns. UPF-Ticino, just ten years after its founding, could speak about our goals to the highest members of the cantonal government!
Here are the football events:
May 1, 2019; Novazzano, Switzerland: the eighth edition of the Peace Cup tournament for children aged 10-11 years. In recent years, the event has become so well-known that before the registration deadline in March we already had 14 associations announced, which is the maximum for a one-day competition with 200 children. During the tournament we could observe that the participating football clubs were well prepared for the fair-play contest, emphasizing kindness on the field as well as on the crowded spectator grandstands.
UPF-Ticino offered lunch for the players and coaches and presented 16 trophies. Each team was rewarded by their rank, plus one boy was recognized for a special display of fair play. The main prize, the Peace Cup 2019, was bestowed on the Novazzano sports club for offering a spectacular choreography of supporters.
May 5, 2019; Malnate, Italy: the second edition of the Peace Cup tournament for youngsters aged 11-12 years. The sports association of Malnate had participated every year in the tournament in Switzerland, so they asked UPF-Ticino to export the event. Eight teams from nearby Italian towns participated in the presence of several municipal governors, of whom one presented the trophies at the end. The hosting association took the motto of the tournament very seriously: A sports psychologist held two evening workshops for the participants and their parents in which they painted a beautiful banner about “winning with honesty and sincerity.” At the event, hundreds of brooches were distributed with the text: “Parent = Educator.” The efforts of Malnate were crowned with the Peace Cup trophy 2019!
May 9 and 10, 2019; Korçë, Albania: the first edition of the Peace Cup football tournament with 10 teams of boys and girls of school age. The two staff members of UPF-Ticino who spent five days at the location were welcomed with enthusiasm by the Albanian organizers and the municipal authorities. They were impressed by the promotion of the fair-play rules and pleased with a beautiful folkloristic dancing group of children during the event. Especially noteworthy and deserving of thanks were the remarkable educational projects by UPF-Korçë through the network of Ambassadors for Peace. UPF-Ticino surely will promote further Peace Cup tournaments in the hospitable nation of Albania!
Please look at our reports, videos and pictures on: www.peacecup.upf-ticino.ch