GSOT founder Kim Källström on site: "I am incredibly proud and grateful"
Kim Källström awarded medals at the prize ceremony
Kim Källström is somewhat of an icon in Swedish football. After his professional football career he still engages himself in the sport. Among other things he has founded the Gothia Special Olympics Trophy tournament.
– This is a way to include those who maybe couldn't have participated otherwise, he says.
After a two year hiatus because of the pandemic, the GSOT tournament once again could be played during Gothia Cup. Several teams competed for the trophies but win or lose they all spread joy and a love of football around them. Kim Källström awarded the medals at the prize ceremony.
– My idea was to create something that include those often excluded. After days like today, I feel we have succeeded.
This year also marks the 10th anniversary of the tournament and for the first time, girls compete in a class of their own.
– That it's been twelve years since we started, if we include the pandemic, feels surreal. You almost forgot how good it feels during the pandemic. Now that we're back and you feel the energy and the joy again you just want it to continue forever, Kim Källström says.
The reason he chose to start the tournament is quite simple. He saw an opportunity to create something positive for youths who did not have an equal opportunity in the world of football.
– I wanted to create something for people who did not have the same opportunity to play football as I had growing up. This is something I feel very strongly about and I am both proud and grateful. Gothia Cup takes great care of the tournament.
There was a lot of passion and intensity in this years tournament. The final was especially emotional. Kim Källström watched the finals live from the stands.
– Some of the players I recognise from earlier years. It feels great that they want to return here. It was great watching the finals again.
He underlines the importance of personal meetings which is such a big part of the Gothia Cup experience, and something that we all missed during the years of the pandemic.
– Human beings are not solitary. A sense of community and connection as we have in Gothia Cup is a vital part of our lives. You walk around Heden and see people from different countries becoming friends and connecting with each other. That is how it should be, Kim Källström says.