The First International Children’s Football Alliance (ICFA), Peace Pitch, Nagpur, India.
Slum Soccer celebrated the twinning their Academy football pitch with Flanders Peace Field and The Peace Village, Messine, Belgium, site of the 1914 First World War Christmas Truces. The Peace Field plaque (sponsored by Jones Lang Lasalle, JLL) was presented to Vi’jay Barse the founder of Slum Soccer by Ernie Brennan, Managing Director of the National Children’s Football Alliance.
The event facilitated a series of football games for boys and girls. The special guests were students from Frankfurt University who were on a study trip in India;
‘It was an honor to take part in the twinning ceremony. We are here to observe how non government organisations work in the third sector. Observing how the National Children’s Football Alliance (NCFA) UK work together with Slum Soccer has been a fascinating and inspiring experience which all my students will benefit from’. Prof. Dr. Alexandra Caspari.
‘This is a very important part of Slum Soccer to have a peace pitch that promotes play to young and old people. The connection with the First World War’s, 1914, Christmas Truces and India, is a valuable historical and modern day learning tool. We will promote peace through play and continue to work with our partners to ensure all children benefit from football’. Dr Vi’jay Barse, Slum Soccer.
‘This is a great idea and I think all the Slum Soccer players, coaches and parents, will understand that we coach football to everyone but we also teach good values that promote peace’. Homkant Surandase, Slum Soccer, Head Coach.
There is a lot to gain from twinning a football pitch with Flanders Peace Field. The universal message of peace lends itself to sportsmanship, equality, humanitarianism and citizenship. Coaches use the 1914 Christmas Truces’ football match as a valuable learning tool in terms of community cohesion.
Slum Soccer will use the Peace Pitch to bring people together. The educational aspect of the Peace Pitch draws on a cross-curricular programme incorporating history, literature, cultural diversity and peace making. It is hoped that the Peace Pitch will facilitate all-inclusive peace tournaments and bring together further funding opportunities for local, regional and National companies to help support the good work of Slum Soccer and all their children.