Germany teach life lessons to young underprivileged players | Goa News – Times of India

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Panaji: Germany have enjoyed plenty of support from the stands at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda.
While many of those cheering are parents of the players and support staff, including coach Friederike Kromp, the most vociferous has been a group of 100-odd young women footballers drawn from across the country.
The youngsters were in Goa for the Legacy Cup, a tournament for underprivileged and marginalised children, organised by Karuna Football Foundation’s Compassion FC. Every time Germany took the field for their group stage games at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, the young children cheered as loud as they could from the stands.
It is no coincidence that the technical advisor at Compassion FC is Heidi Scheunemann, a UEFA-licensed coach from Germany. It is her strong links with DFB, the German football association, that prompted support for the team in Goa and the European champions responded with a gesture of its own by visiting the youngsters early this week.
Eight members of the Germany team at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, including goalkeeper Boettcher Eve, defender Annaleen Boehler and Hannah Etzold, spent time with the underprivileged and marginalised children in Raia where the tournament was being held.
Among the support staff who visited the children include Arne Janssen, Patrick Reifenscheidt, Hannes Rieger, team manager Johanna Pierags and psychologist Paula.
“It was a pleasant surprise to have the Germany team with us in the middle of their World Cup engagement,” said Kennedy D’Silva, director of the Karuna Football Foundation. “They even came to meet us at the stadium and these girls have now become die-hard Germany fans. From our conversation, it’s clear that this relationship will grow.”
D’Silva was pleasantly surprised when the German football association posted videos and images of the team’s visit on its social media platforms.
“It’s massive for us. We are building up a relationship,” said Kennedy.
The players, all below the age of 16 and drawn from underprivileged communities, had lessons to learn too. Goalkeeper Boettcher Eve, in particular, spoke to the youngsters and explained why it’s important to focus on the goals, rather than the tribulations.
“Just have fun and don’t think about the competition,” Boettcher told the players. “It’s important to enjoy the game. If you want to achieve your goals, stay focused. Sport is a great tool, and as sportspersons, we can bring peace and joy to so many people.”
The Legacy Cup, organised by Karuna Football Foundation in collaboration with Society of the Divine Word, saw four teams – dealing with underprivileged and marginalised children – take part.
Ananthapur Sports Academy defeated Compassion 1-0 in the final to emerge champions. Spodeia Sports Academy from Maharashtra and Life Sports Academy from Tamil Nadu were the other two teams which took part.

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