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Swiss and Italian Kids Compete in Peace Cup Soccer Match

Novazzano, Switzerland – In partnership with a local soccer club, UPF-Ticino organized its 11th children's Peace Cup soccer tournament on May 1, 2024 in the town of Novazzano. The players were girls and boys born in 2013 and 2014. Four teams from nearby Italy joined eight from Switzerland, bringing an international atmosphere to the competition. 

In his opening remarks Mr. Giuseppe Termine, president of UPF-Ticino, pointed out that through fair play children learn to manage their emotions and deal with difficult situations in a constructive manner. This helps them develop good character and a strong sense of justice and respect for others. These are valuable qualities, not only in sports, but also in life generally.

Team sports teach children the importance of respecting the rules, the referee, and the coaches' decisions, in addition to respecting their opponents and competing in a fair and honest way, Mr. Termine explained. Further, sports allow children to develop social skills by interacting with their peers, making new friends, and valuing their teammates as they strive together to win the game. To promote fair play among children, it is most essential that adults act as positive role models, he concluded.

In addition to organizing the games and awarding trophies, every year UPF-Ticino provides lunch for all the players and coaches. That means making about 150 plates of pasta, cooked in a field-kitchen by volunteers. Rain threatened to spoil the games in the afternoon, but the players continued, with the fervor on the soccer field matching that of the encouraging parents in the spectator stands, under colorful umbrellas.

The awards ceremony was held indoors; Swiss UPF President Mr. Heiner Handschin bestowed the prizes. Every team received a prize, with the No. 1 team receiving the largest trophy. The winning team this year was “Chiasso.” The Peace Cup trophy was awarded to the girl’s team “Balerna Femminile” for their tenacity without complaint. That prize was awarded by a member of Parliament, whose son is also a player. In his speech, he praised the Peace Cup tournament for promoting peace with a soccer ball.

UPF-Ticino expressed its thanks to the organizers, sports clubs, coaches, authorities present, and all the collaborators behind the scenes.


By Seraina Termine, UPF-Ticino May 1, 2024



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