Organised on a mini-World Cup concept spanning the seven host cities of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013, by means of a partnership between the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) and Ülker, the first event of the “FIFA U-20 World Cup Grassroots Festival” was held in Kayseri on Friday 5 April.
Sponsored by Ülker, who are also one of the National Supporters of the FIFA U-20 World Cup, the festival featured 240 12-year-old children participating in various activities on football pitches named in honour of Governor Muammer Güler.
In the very first activity of the programme, the children had their photo taken with the official mascot of the FIFA U-20 World Cup. After that, the children had the opportunity to showcase their talents on specially-designed pitches.
What is more, those children who obtained the highest “Fair Play” ratings during the day-long festival earned the right to participate in the FIFA U-20 World Cup opening ceremony – to be held in Kayseri’s Kadir Has Stadium on 21 June.
When giving out information on the event, Murat Öztaş, one of the people responsible for the project in Kayseri, had this to say: “With FIFA, the TFF and the National Ministry for Education joining forces, 240 children born in 2001, who were selected from across 24 schools in Kayseri, participated in the event.
"Our goal for this event, which was carried out in a festival-like atmosphere, was to help inspire children through football," he continued. "The people in Kayseri are extremely happy to be hosting the opening match of FIFA U-20 World Cup.”
These FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 Grassroots activities will help contribute to youth development in Turkish football, in parallel with a campaign conducted by Ülker since 2007. By their conclusion, around 8,000 children will have benefited from them.
One of the National Supporters of the FIFA U-20 World Cup, Ülker are sponsors of a project in which festivals will be played out every Friday – spanning the months of April and May. The festivals will continue to be held in the other FIFA U-20 World Cup host cities of Antalya, Bursa, Gaziantep, İstanbul, Rize and Trabzon.