Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Moscow, Russia
YOUNG Zimbabwean participants Allan Kapiri and Awakhiwe Ncube believe the Football for Friendship (F4F) programme in Russia has lived true to its key values.
The programme, which has been in existence since 2013, aims to promote friendship, equality, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, traditions and honour.
Participants are 12-year-old girls and boys, including those with disabilities, as well as journalists from 211 countries within the framework of the Football for Friendship International Children’s Press Centre.
Kapiri is a coach of one of the teams called Wood Peckers made up of players from seven different nationalities, while Ncube is one of the 211 young journalists from across the globe.
“We are enjoying our stay here so far. We have made many friends from around the world and I think the programme is really living true to its founding values,” said Ncube in an interview at the Sapsan Arena.
Besides being a “journalist” Ncube is also a member of the Wood Peckers team coached by Kapiri and whose members are from Guatemala, Nicaragua, Germany, Beliz, Canada and Slovakia.
Each team is trained by young coaches of between 14-16 years from different countries.
Kapiri’s team played two games, winning one and losing the other, but Ncube was confident they would proceed to the knockout stages.
The total amount of F4F supporters has grown to over three million in five years and the project has won 17 international and Russian awards in the field of social responsibility and communications.
In April, 32 international teams of friendships were formed.
Ncube and Kapiri are accompanied by Zifa technical director Wilson Mutekede and communications manager, Xolisani Gwesela.