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Sports Programs

Play Football Make Peace Honors Day of People's Unity in Russia

Moscow, Russia - A friendly autumn football tournament marking the Day of the District of Lyublino and the upcoming National Day of People's Unity took place on a football field in Stavropolskaya Street on November 3. The Play Football Make Peace festival was organized jointly by Stardvor, UPF, and the Lyublino district of Moscow with the support of the district administration.

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Despite unfavorable weather conditions, the festival successfully continued the popular tradition established in 2003 of several athletic events in Lyublino each year, with guests, friends, and amateur athletes assembling on the sports ground located in the yard of a block house on Stavropolskaya Street.

The players enjoyed the renovated playing field with its artificial grass and a new gate. Also ready in time for the sports festival was a new tent, which provided a warm dressing room and bio-toilets.

To create a festive atmosphere, Stardvor activists put up the traditional decorations of multicolored flags and banners, and the rhythmic music performed by musicians of the Lyublino Children’s Center beginning early in the morning drew people's attention to the event, inviting everyone to participate. The official part started at 12:00 noon.

As is traditional, the sports festival was opened by the initiator of the event, Beslan Zarakua; he is the leader of Stardvor and creator of the Children’s Sports Center. On behalf of the children he thanked the district's administration for the long-awaited reconstruction of the sports field; he emphasized the importance of the event not only for the development of the field football but also for creating a comfortable environment in athletic field. The Deputy of the Lyublino District, honored coach of the Russian Federation and vice-president of the Russian Curling Federation, Yury Andrianov, congratulated the guests on the Day of the District and wished them high spirits and good results. He is a highly respected person who often comes to the playing field.

The Secretary General of UPF-Russia, Konstantin Krylov, expressed his appreciation to the guests and initiators for preparing such an important event to promote a healthy lifestyle among the youth. He reminded people about the importance of fundamental intercultural values: international friendship, neighborliness, and fair play. The director of the municipal youth and children’s center Olympus, Orest Drebit, presented a gift to the participants of the sports festival: a lively group called Buranovsky Grannies performed songs and dances; they could easily outshine any young cheerleaders and are a popular element of sports events. The safety of the festival was ensured by Stardvor, the chair of the board of the law-and-order station No. 35, Gulnafira Zakirova, and law enforcement officials.

After the entertainment, the four competing teams lined up on the football field ready to start the tournament. The host team Stardvor (captain: Sergei Kozlov) and the teams of the Moscow Academy of Law (captain: Dmitry Galitsin), Youth Association (captain: Igor Shumansky), and Universal Peace Federation (captain: Dmitry Samko) are long-standing friends and guests of Stardvor. The four teams play an important role in the volunteer movement by promoting the principles of goodness and mutual aid as well as basic values like international friendship, neighborliness, and the spirit of noble rivalry.

The teams competed in tough and breathtaking games. Nobody wanted to give in. Nevertheless, the result of the six games played round robin style determined the tournament's favorites and the outsiders. The team of the Moscow Academy of Law gained 9 goals and became the winner. Two teams had equal scores (4 for each). Still the UPF team came in second, and Stardvor third. Mikhail Makhlozyan (Stardvor) was nominated as the best player; the best goalkeeper was Dmitry Galitsin (Moscow Academy of Law).

All participants in the tournament were awarded with cups, medals, and diplomas by the municipality of Lyublino. They also received letters of gratitude from UPF and the Youth Association.

Finally, on the part of the host team Stardvor, Beslan Zarakua expressed his warm gratitude to the initiators of the sports event.

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