During AFC Grassroots Football Day 2019, a children’s football festival, was held at the Ashgabat stadium. It was dedicated to the united mass football day of the Asian Football Confederation.
The festival, which aims to instill in the younger generation a love of football and sport in general, has gathered a large number of children from different regions of Turkmenistan under the motto “Sport for Development”.
The kids were able to participate in a real football training, hone their skills with the ball and take part in various competitions.
– Such events offer great opportunities for social integration, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and also contribute to the development of children and young people, said Shahin Nilofer, head of the UNICEF office in Ashgabat. – Football and children are very close, respectively, UNICEF activities are aimed at developing sports for the benefit of our future generations.
The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which marks 30 years this year, also emphasizes the right of every child to rest, play, and participate in various cultural and sporting events.
Along with pupils of sports schools and other young followers of a healthy lifestyle, who seemed to notice nothing but the ball, children with special needs received unforgettable impressions of the festival.
For them, this festival also became a kind of celebration and training, which will help them overcome the difficulties of life on their way to their goal. This is the true power of sport.
– Our organization promotes the principles of an inclusive society. And today we see that inclusive sports, where everyone has a place, is of great importance in terms of the rehabilitation of both the physical and psychological development of children. Indeed, despite the differences, we are all equal,” said Gulya Choreklieva, director of the public organization Yeňme (“Overcoming”).
Everyone who was on the field and outside that day enjoyed the friendly atmosphere that was created by enthusiastic little athletes around them. Perhaps that is why their parents also did not stand aside, on the contrary, took an active part in various competitions.
– We should organize such activities for children more often. They help to unleash their potential and give a powerful impulse to inspiration, as well as to find new friends with whom they will share a common passion,” said the proud father of one of the participant, who won the ball juggling competition.
The head coaches of Turkmenistan in football and futsal – Croats Ante Mishe and Robert Grdovich carefully observed what was happening on the field. Gurus did not rule out the possibility that today they will meet their future students. And the kids managed to talk with those who promised to lead the national teams to victory.