„Kick the Borders“ is the motto for FC St. Pauli and the NGO Projekt Seehilfe e.V. from Monday to Friday this week.
On Thursday last week a bus from Seehilfe e.V. already took off for Syrakus on the island of Sicily in the south of Italy. Syrakus is currently one of the hotspots of arriving boats with refugees from various countries in Africa. Approximitely 1000 people arrive in the harbour of Syrakus each day!
The project „Kick the Borders“ consists of a Refugees working group of representatives from the club. 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.
„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. 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.“
To help get the exchange between refugees and the local people rolling, the Little Rascals have sent 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 first training has already taken place and was a success. After the training with the refugee team was already in full throttle they were joined by the rookie team of Real Syrakus – the local club. It showed that age, skin color or origin do not matter when it comes to football. They all had a fun little training together.
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