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KICK-OFF APPROACHES FOR SICILY FOOTBALL CAMP!

"Kick the Borders" is the motto for FC St. Pauli and the NGO Projekt Seehilfe e.V. from Monday to Friday next week. A group of representatives from the club's Refugees working group, the FC St. Pauli Rabauken (Little Rascals) and the youth academy are travelling to the Sicilian port city of Syrakus to use the power of football to build bridges, bring together refugees and local people, and draw attention to the precarious situation facing displaced persons when they arrive in Italy.

The Projekt Seehilfe bus set off on the 2,500 km journey to Sicily on Thursday morning. After a long planning phase, everyone is really looking forward to the big kick-off on Monday. "We've been talking to Projekt Seehilfe about putting on this football camp for the last 18 months," said Hendrik Lüttmer, who is organising the trip on the club side. "We're finally getting started now and it's great that St. Pauli are able to help build bridges on the ground in Sicily."

Yet the project is not just about offering the people in Syrakus a nice time and a break from an often drab daily routine, as Stephanie Goncalves Noberto, Head of Social Pedagogy at the academy, was keen to point out. "It would be great if we were able to bring together local youth and refugees and build permanent links. The academy has a clear position when it comes to human rights it doesn't end on our own doorstep. We want to support people wherever they are." Norberto will also be accompanied to Syrakus by Under-19 coach Tobias Trulsen.

To help get the exchange between refugees and the local people rolling, the Little Rascals are sending three youth coaches to oversee the professional organisation of the training sessions. "For us there was never any question that we would support the trip, as we've been organising weekly sessions for refugees at the Kollau training ground and also because lots of refugee children take part in our own football camps," said Jan-Oliver Hetze (Little Rascal Team Manager.

The camp has got the people in Italy excited, too. "When we were in Sicily organising things, we noticed how much the people were looking forward to it," said Phillip Leusbrock of Projekt Seehilfe. The refugees, the football clubs in the region, the local youth who will take part in the camp and our cooperation partners can't wait! For us, the camp is another step towards bringing about long-term change because there's only so much you can do to relieve people's material suffering."

Technical director Ewald Lienen did not hesitate either when asked if he would join the club delegation. He will spend three days in Syrakus and may also get involved in the training sessions, although that is not his main priority: "Football can help to integrate people socially. By going to Syrakus I want to underline how important the project is. It's also about drawing attention to the situation people face after they are forced to flee across the Mediterranean."

Kick the Borders!

 

If you're looking for something to buy from the club store, please note that all proceeds from the sale of the World Turbo Youth T-shirt go to the project. Treat yourself! CLICK

Photo: Projekt Seehilfe e.V.

 

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