Two young Montserratians are back home and deep into final exams after participating in the Football for Friendship Children’s Forum and Games in Moscow, Russia.
Footballer Vashirn Roach and Hayley-Shai Kassie attended with chaperones and officials from the Montserrat Football Association.
The Sixth Season of the programme was unique in its scale, as this year, 211 countries and regions worldwide participated in the event, representing 6 global continents: Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and Oceania, North America and South America.
1,500 children and their caregivers from around the world took part in the Forum. The total number of participants and guests topped 5,000. The Forum was attended by boys and girls including with disabilities as Young Players, Young Journalists and Young Coaches. All of them were united by a single common mission: the promotion of human values, such as friendship, equality, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, traditions, honour.
Kassie said being a Young Journalist at the international event “was a very enriching experience. I got to meet people of different cultural backgrounds from all over the world and despite the language barrier for some of them, we were able to become good friends and I still talk to some of them on a daily basis. I’m honoured to represent Montserrat and I am thankful for the company of Vashirn Roach, who looked out for me like a big brother. I just want to say thank you to the Montserrat Football Association for this wonderful opportunity.”
Based on the results of the Open Draw, 32 International Football Teams of Friendship were formed and named after rare and endangered animals, along with the positions of each Young Footballer (goalkeeper, back, halfback and forward) from 211 countries and regions. The teams formed under the «football for friendship» principle helped the children of various nationalities and cultures to find common ground and make compromises in the name of common victory.
Roach was randomly selected to be a Young Coach and ably led Team Lemur although they did not advance in the friendly matches.
All the football events of the Sixth Season of the Football for Friendship programme were also covered by the Young Journalists from the International Children’s Press Center. They had a chance not only to work as correspondents taking part in a live sports broadcasts, but also to learn from the well-known journalists representing the leading Russian sports media outlets as a part of their workshops.
The Young Journalists prepared the news together for the most important international media, published daily issues of the children’s Football for Friendship newspaper, wrote diaries, and posted on social media. The materials were prepared in 62 languages.
All the young participants of the Sixth Season of the Football for Friendship programme visited the Opening ceremony and the first match of 2018 FIFA World Cup 2018.