Gothia Cup

A fair play project for a better environment

Everybody wants to be involved in the game, but sometimes you need to take a step back and let the kids play. This year Celebrate the Game is focusing on the parent’s role before, during and after the game.

Celebrate the Game is a fair play project that Gothia Cup runs in association with Länsförsäkringar, to create a better environment for everyone both on and off the pitch. The parent’s role is important in a youth tournament, but it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and sometimes being unable to see the kids’ best interest. Therefore, the Celebrate the Game project wants to inform the parents about how they can try and act before, during and after the game. And it seems to be catching on. Emily is watching her son play with his team FC Saint Cloud from France.

“We want to support our kids. We need to have the right spirit and give them freedom to play, to think and be on their own with the team. I think it’s important to back off sometimes”, she says.

Fredrik Andersson is enjoying Gothia Cup as a supporter and think the whole environment has been very calm during the matches he has seen.

“All of the parents have been very positive, regardless if their kids win or lose. But of course, I’ve seen the opposite in other contexts and it’s a real shame when parents get angry and start acting bad”, he says.

One of the people working with the project is Jordan Boekholt. His mission is to inform coaches and parents about Celebrate the Game, the projects idea and different ways of communicating with the young players. He thinks that the tournament in general has been calm and quiet but mentions one specific incident during one match.

“One of the players got so mad at his parent that he walked off and refused to play. Afterward the coach asked us to talk to all the of the parents about Celebrate the Game and how they can try to act when their kids are playing”, says Jordan Boekholt.    

According to Jordan Boekholt, talking to the group of parents had a positive effect and they reacted well towards the project’s aim. His team have also been speaking with players, asking them how they think their parents should react during the games.

“They want them to stay positive. It’s alright if they want to give advice after game, but they shouldn’t shout it out during the match”, says Jordan Boekholt.

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