League Seminar, 25th March, Beirut

On the 25th March more than 60 Lebanese and Iraqi coaches and coordinators from Cross Cultures Project Association (CPPA) attended a seminar at the Sports City Stadium, Beirut.
The key objective of the seminar was to learn from the experience of the German street football organisation Buntkicktgut of establishing an intercultural tournament system for children in Munich, with a view to facilitating similar practices among Popular Clubs in Lebanon and Iraq, respectively.
The new seminar builds on the existing system of "Mini Tournaments" that the CCPA coordinators have organised across Lebanon over the past three years which facilitate interaction among CCPA´s Popular Clubs. It is hoped that by establishing a more robust tournament framework, interaction between children of different areas and backgrounds will develop in terms of regularity and outreach.
Given the profound differences in contexts between Germany and Lebanon, the aim of the seminar was not to import the model developed by Buntkicktgut in its entirety, but rather to discuss whether and how it could be adapted to suit Lebanon´s needs and opportunities.
The seminar began with a presentation from Rüdiger Heid and Sven Schröder from Buntkicktgut who explained the details of the street football tournament structure in Munich. The structure includes many different age groups, as well as a high degree of children´s participation achieved through a child-led tournament committee which is responsible for refereeing and discipline issues. The Buntkicktgut programme also includes other means of child participation including an Editorial Team which is responsible for producing magazines and writing newspaper features.
The presentation was followed by two workshops in which the coaches discussed challenges and solutions to establishing similar practices in Lebanon and in Iraq.
Among the issues raised was how to fund the cost of running a tournament system. Another issue was transportation, especially how teams could travel in a cost effective and safe way. Related to this topic is the issue of the distance which teams could feasibly travel to play their matches and therefore of the geographical area which tournaments should cover. A third issue raised related to communication, and the coaches discussed the best means of keeping in touch (e.g. email, phone).
The seminar was overall a great success, with the concept of the practice developed in Germany being met with enthusiasm by the participants.
By John Skelton, CCPA intern in Beirut

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