“It comes from the heart”
During Gothia Cup a lot of enthusiasts are doing a fantastic job in the background. Two of those are Sukanya and Manida, Thai expats living in Sweden who support the team Thai Spirit FC in any way they can. “The support we get from the people here are fantastic”, says Guy, one of the players in Thai Spirit FC.
Around ten years ago Sukanya and her children were walking around at Heden during that year’s Gothia Cup. That’s where the story begins. One of her children spotted a team from Thailand playing on one of the pitches. Being from Thailand Sukanya and her children decided to go over and talk to them. As she lives in Gothenburg she asked them if there was anything she could help them with, and that was the start of a long relationship. Sukanya and other members of the Thai community in Gothenburg have since then supported Thai Spirit FC in any way they can. Not necessarily because the club needs the help but because they want to.
“We do it because we want to help the children, that’s the reason. It comes from the heart” says Sukanya.
Sukanya and her friend Manida are both working as cooks at pre-schools, and food is the main source of their help. Either by collecting money which they use to buy fruit or other food that the players can eat before or after their games. Or by cooking the food themselves which they can bring to the players.
“Often the games are quite far away from where the team are staying. Which makes it hard to be there during the hours when food is served. Therefore we bring food that they can eat in connection to the games” says Sukanya.
Guy, one of the players in Thai Spirit FC speaks highly of the support. He explains how they’re used to playing in front of just friends and family back home, and during Gothia Cup they really appreciate the support they get from Sukanya, Manida and the others.
He also speaks highly of the club itself. Thai Spirit FC is an academy team which is based in the capitol of Thailand, Bangkok. Guy was introduced to the club by a friend of his and he loved it.
“It’s like a big family. The coaches and the players’ parents are very helpful. Some of the players are coming from poor conditions and the club can help with accommodation, food and transport”, he says.
By their support Sukanya, Manida and the others who have helped the players during their visits here have become additions to the family. Making sure they’re here to help when the team arrives.
“This is the week in the calendar that I keep free each year. To make sure I can be here to show my support”, says Sukanya.