1. FSV Mainz 05 Social inclusion tournament

3 July 2018

1. FSV Mainz 05 Social inclusion tournament

Four teams competed at the 2nd inclusion tournament hosted by 1. FSV Mainz 05. The competition, which is part of the nationwide FootballFriends Cups in Germany, brings together children with and without disabilities. 

1. FSV Mainz 05, the DFB-Foundation Sepp-Herberger, the DFL Foundation and the football associations from the Southwest took the initiative to organise the tournament. They all wanted one thing in particular, as Jürgen Veth, Vice President of the football associations and curator of the DFB-Foundation Sepp-Herberger said in his welcome speech: “We are looking forward to nice football matches and a great day together at our second inclusion tournament.”

Not the idea of achievement, but the common joy and enthusiasm of football, teamwork and Fair Play are the focus of the nationwide tournament series of the FootballFriends Cups. Children with and without disabilities meet through sport and are playfully supported in their social skills. The participants learn how to deal and handle with the strengths and weaknesses of other football players and thus train their “social IQ” and acquire useful skills for their further academic and professional career. The two major football associations in Germany have launched this series of tournaments nationwide. In addition to the event in Mainz, tournaments are organised in Leipzig, Cologne, Hoffenheim and Hamburg.

Nature of the disability not relevant

Inclusion and disability teams from clubs and schools were invited to Mainz. All the players are between 10 and 17 years old and every team needed to play their matches with at least 3 players with a disability. Teams of FC Ente Bagdad, SV Spesbach, Theodor Heuss School Kastellaun and the team from Lebenshilfe Worms enjoyed a full day of fun and games.  The most important aim for the event was to enjoy “fair play, consideration and a common game” and although everyone competed against everyone,  there was not one winning team but all participating teams received an award at the end of the day.

“It’s just a great story, to get something going in the stadium of a Bundesliga club together with other associations,” said Udo Blaeser, Inclusion Commissioner of the Football Association Rhineland. He also looked ahead for the next year: “There will be more teams next year.”

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