After two days of competition in Oslo, Norway, the MTG United for Peace Cup 2010 produced two winners namely Cestria Girls (United Kingdom) and Right to Dream (from Ghana) for the female and male competitions respectively. Both teams lifted their respective trophies after beating 10 other participating teams.
Saturday October 9 was the climax of this event which has built bridges between kids from different backgrounds and opened them to other cultures. All the participants discovered Oslo during the traditional Peace Walk around the city, which celebrated the 2010 Nobel Peace Laureate, guided by Jan Åge Fjørtoft, chairman of MTG United for Peace.
The rest of the day was of course dedicated to the common passion of all the kids: football. The 12 teams attended the final, supporting their new friends.
Cestria Girls won with a score of 3-1 against Team Romerike (Norway). “The key of our success is probably a combination of passion for football, extremely hard work, training and supporting each other. I will remember from this weekend of course the victory but also the new friends I have made, such as teams from Ghana and Hungary”, explains Lauren Jordinson, the centre-back player.
Right to Dream came out tops for the boys after winning 1-0 in an exciting game against Nõmme United ’97 from Estonia . The scorer of the winning goal, Richard Donkor, asserts “I feel grateful and excited about winning this tournament, as a team to hold this cup. The tournament was fantastic to meet new friends from other cultures, to express ourselves and to try to speak in other languages. Thanks a lot for that!”
And as two teams composed of one player of each nationality met in the mixed final, all countries had the opportunity to be represented in the final stages of the competition. The mixed final offered one more opportunity for the kids to spend time together, overtaking language or cultural barriers thanks to the medium of football, with a great spirit of tolerance and friendship.
The tournament was closed by a Celebrity Charity Game. Peace Ambassadors (among them Regi Blinker, Jimmy Carter, Ken Monkou and Quinton Fortune) played against a Lilleström all star team, much to the enjoyment of the 130 kids. The half time of this game was an emotional moment as all the kids paraded on the pitch behind their national flag – a great memory both for the kids, the coach and also all the MTG staff volunteers.
This weekend of discoveries, learning and tolerance will stay as a lifetime memory for the young football players. All the participants leave Norway as winners, proud of their achievements representing their country in the MTG United for Peace Cup.