While addressing the audience, the counsellor stressed the benefits of sports and said, “sports being a part of the universal culture is an important instrument of combining different people in the world. Sports continue to be an important device to establish healthy and positive international relations.” Representatives of “Kick for Tolerance” project from Germany and dignitaries from Punjab Government were also present at the event.
The theme of this festival is women empowerment and diversity. On this occasion, 15 girls teams from all over India and abroad participated in the festival. The festival is an opportunity for the participants to not only showcase their competitive football skills in an International Football League Tournament but also to meet and interact with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures, thereby making memories and friendships for life. The counsellor also presented footballs to the aspiring girl football players of YFC.
The programme also included a poster exhibition on ‘Kick for Tolerance’. At the opening of the poster exhibition, Johanna Borchardt stated, “it is inspiring to see how football brings together young people across borders and that the young Indian women who work for the YFC Rurka Kalan under the ‘Kick for Tolerance’ project show how important such projects are for allowing these young people to develop and reach their personal goals and overcome difficulties in society.”
As part of the international promotion of sports, especially promotion of youth sports is an important aspect of German foreign policy with a long lasting tradition. Kick for Tolerance is a project funded by the German Foreign Office over the last few years and is successfully running in Rurka Kalan, Punjab. Under this unique development project, Indian students are taught during sport training sessions in a playful way important lessons e.g. education, hygiene or gender equality. Besides the many sportive activities within the community, it also offers children and parents from this rural area the opportunity to think outside the box and even across borders. Thus, the initiative is also able to connect them on bi-lateral and international levels.