Bhutanese kids shine at the F4F pro­gramme in Rus­sia

Bhutan Times - - Home - Thin­ley Choda Young Foot­baller Rigzin Ten­zin at the 3 day In­ter­na­tional Friend­ship Camp in Moscow

The Sixth sea­son of Foot­ball for Friend­ship (F4F) Pro­gramme im­ple­mented by Gazprom, the Of­fi­cial part­ner of FIFA and the 2018 FIFA World Cup, con­cluded suc­cess­fully in Moscow.

The pro­gramme, which took place from 8th15th June 2018, brought to­gether young foot­ball play­ers and young jour­nal­ists aged 12 years from 211 coun­tries and re­gions. The young foot­ballers were united in 32 In­ter­na­tional Teams of Friend­ship, and were ac­com­pa­nied by young jour­nal­ists who were se­lected to re­port on the Foot­ball for Friend­ship events. Bhutan joined the pro­gramme for the first time and was rep­re­sented by Rigzin Ten­zin and Kin­ley Yang­zom, who were se­lected as the young foot­baller and young jour­nal­ist re­spec­tively.

Rigzin played as a goal­keeper in the “King Co­bra” team, along with his 12 year old team­mates from Mon­tene­gro, Nether­lands, Dji­bouti, Guam and Namibia. Rigzin put on a stel­lar per­for­mance by mak­ing sev­eral crit­i­cal saves in all the qual­i­fy­ing games to take his team to the 2nd spot in their group. How­ever, the King Co­bra Team were just a few goals short of qual­i­fy­ing for the quar­ter- fi­nals, only los­ing to the even­tual cham­pi­ons, the Chim­panze team.

Speak­ing about hid ex­pe­ri­ence in Rus­sia, Rigzin said “I am happy to have been given the op­por­tu­nity to rep­re­sent my coun­try in the Foot­ball for Friend­ship pro­gramme in Moscow. The pro­gramme has helped me to make a lot of friends from dif­fer­ent coun­tries, and dis­cuss, prac­tice and play foot­ball with them. I was also given the op­portu- nity to par­tic­i­pate in the open­ing cer­e­mony of the FIFA World Cup which is an ex­pe­ri­ence that I will never for­get. This has been an amaz­ing jour­ney and I hope to keep in touch with all my new friends from around the world.”

It was no dif­fer­ent for Kin­ley Yang­zom who acted as the young jour­nal­ist and cov­ered all key events on equal terms with the adult re­porters. A stu­dent of Lobesa Lower Sec­ondary School in Pu­nakha District, Kin­ley got a chance to learn from the well-known jour­nal­ists rep­re­sent­ing the lead­ing Rus­sian sports me­dia out­lets, as a part of their work­shops. The Young Jour­nal­ists pre­pared news for renowned in­ter­na­tional me­dia houses and pub­lished daily is­sues of the chil­dren’s Foot­ball for Friend­ship news­pa­per.

The F4F pro­gram con­sisted of a three day In­ter­na­tional Friend­ship Camp in Moscow, for the young am­bas­sadors. The train­ing camp was fol­lowed by the fi­nal cham­pi­onship that was held on 12th June 2018 at the Sap­san Arena Sta­dium. The Cham­pi­onship which con­sisted of multi-cul­tural teams acted as an ef­fec­tive tool in pro­mot­ing mu­tual re­spect, un­der­stand­ing and sup­port among all the par­tic­i­pat­ing kids.

The pro­gramme ended with the In­ter­na­tional Chil­dren’s Fo­rum dur­ing which chil­dren shared their ex­pe­ri­ences and held dis­cus­sions with their peers, fa­mous foot­ballers and jour­nal­ists. The fo­rum was ad­dressed by Deputy Prime Min­is­ter of the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion, Olga Golodets, leg­endary Span­ish goal­keeper, Iker Casil­las and Chair­man of the Board of Di­rec­tors of Gazprom Vic­tor Zubkov among other renowned del­e­gates.

Deputy Prime Min­is­ter of the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion Olga Golodets pre­sented a fes­tive speech of the Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin on the Foot­ball for Friend­ship Pro­gramme: “I strongly be­lieve that such largescale ini­tia­tives as Foot­ball for Friend­ship carry out an im­por­tant mis­sion. They sup­port youth sports, pro­mote val­ues of a healthy life­style, teach chil­dren to re­spect rep­re­sen­ta­tives of dif­fer­ent na­tion­al­i­ties and cul­tures.”

On the oc­ca­sion of the Sixth In­ter­na­tional Foot­ball for Friend­ship Chil­dren’s Fo­rum, Mr. Vic­tor Zubkov, chair­man of the Board of Di­rec­tors of Gazprom said, “To­day the del­e­gates from 211 coun­tries and re­gions come here to par­tic­i­pate in this event. In com­par­i­son to 2013, when we started Foot­ball for Friend­ship pro­gramme, the ge­og­ra­phy of the project in­creased 26 times.” In adding that he said that over the past five years more than 4,000 kids took part in the pro­gramme and the to­tal num­ber of sup­port­ers of Foot­ball for Friend­ship ex­ceeded three mil­lion peo­ple.”

On 14th June, Rigzin got the unique op­por­tu­nity to be a part of the open­ing cer­e­mony of the FIFA World Cup as Bhutan’s flag bearer. The young am­bas­sadors also got to watch the open­ing match be­tween Rus­sia and Saudi Ara­bia at Luzh­niki Sta­dium in Moscow.

Speak­ing about the pro­gramme, the Pres­i­dent for Bhutan Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion, Ugen Tsechup said, “We are de­lighted to have par­tic­i­pated in the Foot­ball for Friend­ship Pro­gramme through our young am­bas­sadors, Rigzin and Kin­ley. It is our con­stant en­deav­our to use foot­ball as a tool to in­stil core val­ues, break bar­ri­ers and pro­mote in­te­gra­tion among chil­dren, which co­in­cides with the key val­ues en­dorsed by the F4F Pro­gramme.”

“We are pos­i­tive that the kids will act as am­bas­sadors of all the im­por­tant lessons and fun­da­men­tal hu­man val­ues that they have learnt in the pro­gramme and spread it among their friends and fam­ily in Bhutan. On be­half of the Bhutan Foot­ball Fed­er­a­tion, we con­grat­u­late F4F and Gazprom in suc­cess­fully con­duct­ing this im­pact­ful pro­gramme and pro­vid­ing the young am­bas­sadors a won­der­ful plat­form to cel­e­brate friend­ship through the uni­fy­ing power of foot­ball,” added the Pres­i­dent.

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