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Sports Programs

Estonia Hosts Football for Peace Tournament

Parnu, Estonia - On the Baltic seacoast in Parnu, Estonia, the annual Parnu Summer Cup youth football tournament took place from June 30 to July 3 under the slogan of "Play Football Make Peace." During the period of several days, more than 100 football players from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Sweden, Ukraine, and Russia competed with the desire to become the best of the best.

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The tournament opened with the traditional colorful, emotional parade of teams along the numerous sandy beaches of Parnu and closed in the central square of the friendly city with a general meeting of the teams and the excited spectators. Ambassador for Peace Reigo Tonsberg addressed the audience with her welcoming words. She called upon them to play football not only for the sake of winning but also practicing the principles of fair play and abiding by the slogan “Play Football Make Peace."

As in the previous year, Russia was represented by teams from Brateyevo, Moscow; it took them a long time to prepare for such a representative and socially oriented international tournament. This time, two teams of the Brateyevo Municipal Football League, young people born in 1999 and 2000, tried to prove that they deserved the honor to represent Russia. Those born in 1999 had an easier time competing in the tournament, building on their experience of the previous year. The younger also did their best but couldn’t overcome strong rival teams from other countries. The boys of the 1999 age level, who came to the tournament for the second time, were able not only to show their athletic spirit but also demonstrated their unity, effort, and high results by gaining first place in their sub-group and seventh place overall among the 20 teams.

In the course of the tournament the Chairman of UPF-Estonia, Rene Chaillie, and Dmitry Samko, the coordinator of Sports for Peace of UPF-Eurasia, addressed the athletes and couches. A number of athletes and tournament organizers received Ambassador for Peace certificates for their outstanding contribution to promoting the sports for peace agenda.

Surely, the humanitarian aspect of the Estonia tournament that is regularly described as one of the best projects of Parnu is drawing the attention of more and more supporters with its “Play Football Make Peace” slogan. It is good that within a few days ordinary youth can acquire the wonderful experience of communicating on the football field with representatives of different countries where, transcending language and cultural barriers, they develop their character as future creators of peaceful communities.

For more information about UPF-Eurasia's Baltic Dialogue Initiative, click here.

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