On 18 May, the initiative 'A football lesson ahead of the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017' was held in all Host Cities of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.
Confederations Cup volunteers and Russia 2018 volunteer candidates spoke to students in schools and universities about the upcoming tournaments, as well as the football stars and continental champions who will be competing for the Confederations Cup Trophy in less than a month in Russia. During the lesson, there were also quizzes and sporting activities led by Host City Ambassadors, famous footballers and other athletes.
The youngsters were also treated to a surprise when legendary Brazilian forward Ronaldinho, who won both the World Cup and Confederations Cup during his career, greeted them via a video message.
The football lesson at Moscow school No.1293 was attended by the head of the Department of Sport and Tourism in Moscow Nikolay Gulyayev, newly-crowned champion of Russia and Spartak Moscow midfielder Denis Glushakov and actor and presenter Sergei Belogolovtsev, who is also a Russia 2018 Ambassador. The latter two even got involved in a friendly game between the capital’s volunteers and the school football team.
“It’s been a while since I was at school and it was very nice to be here,” said the Russian national team star Glushakov. “I think these lessons need to go ahead in every city to make sure our football is going in the right direction. We’re looking forward to seeing everybody at Confederations Cup matches and we hope you support us in the stands!”
“It went fantastically: the kids were great and showed an interest,” commented Belogolovtsev after the lesson. “It was great to play together. Get involved in sport and play football!”
The football lessons took place in the other Confederations Cup Host Cities as well. Decorated water-polo player Irek Zinnurov, a Host City Ambassador for Kazan at the Confederations Cup and World Cup, took part in the event there, while Host City Ambassador for Saint Petersburg Vasily Gerello and former FC Zenit player Denis Ugarov showed up for the lesson in the main city of Confederations Cup. In Sochi, the lesson was given by the director of the Volunteer Centre at Sochi State University Sergei Cheremshanov. In less than a month’s time, local volunteers in the resort city will be working at the Fisht Olympic Stadium, where Germany play Australia on 19 June.
The football lesson initiative is a Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee project, which is being carried out with the support of the World Cup Volunteer Centres. The lessons started in December 2015 as part of the 'Generation-2018' programme, tasked with uniting football fans around the interest towards the tournament and espousing the basic social values of the sport: mutual respect, healthy living and fair play. Since 2015, nearly 10,000 lessons have been conducted in schools, universities and children’s homes in the cities and regions hosting the Confederations Cup and World Cup. More than 200,000 pupils and students have been involved in the initiative.