Another exciting year is coming to an end – I want to thank all of you for your support and to reminisce about my personal highlights of 2015.
In April we were able to stage another coaching formation at the GCU in South Africa, this time supported by former football professional Gerald Gansterer from Austria. It was wonderful to see the improvements GCU has made on many levels, such as the great work the GCU coaches do in the schools around Heideveld, the professionalism that is being demonstrated; in the library that now even has its own employee; and the first implementation of the „Festa de Futebol“ Concept in South Africa., under the banner „United Football Festival“.
After that I went to Mozambique where I also conducted another coaching formation, which was generously financed by the Bavarian Football Association this year. I was able to share my knowledge with new and well-known coaches and through them contribute to the physical and mental development of children.
In October I participated in another exciting event organised in collaboration with SAP, Eintracht Frankfurt Fußballschule, South African Football Association (SAFA) and Deutsche Schule Pretoria. It was an innovative mix of football school, coding workshop and coaching formation that thrilled all participants and convinced us of the value of this approach.
Unfortunately 2015 has also been a year where football again showed two contrasting faces. Football continues to turn into a big business and many players in the industry seem to lose their sense for ethical behavior on the way, to pursue personal success and unjust enrichment. I am very displeased by some of the developments that we witnessed in 2015 and without going into details I am sure many of you would agree.
Those kind of things too often cast clouds over the side of football that brings people together, makes them learn together, respecting otherness and differences, communicating and cooperating to help each other and, through teamwork, reach a common goal.
For this reason I am especially delighted that we were able to implement our “Festa de Football” concept from Mozambique in two projects in South Africa. This is where children are encouraged to play without that pressure to perform which, all too often, they find themselves subjected to.
Sport influences people in good or bad ways. In 2015 we did our best to contribute to the encouragement of people and particularly children. We are proud of what we have achieved but are already working on new programs we believe will be sustainable. We would be happy and thankful if you would keep giving us your advice and support on the way.
A Merry Christmas and a healthy and inspiring New Year in 2016 to all of you!