SOS Children's Villages Cup for Estonian children

Approximately 100 children from eight different orphanages came to SOS Children’s Village Keila to play football for two days and meet again people they knew from the first SOS Children's Village Cup two years ago. Together with the supporters of the event - Statoil Estonia and Estonian Football Association - national director of SOS Children's Villages Estonia Margus Oro gave all children special t-shirts for the competition.

Not only boys, but also girls participated; girls from SOS Children's Village Keila formed a team (Photo: Marko Mägi)
Not only boys, but also girls participated (Photo: Marko Mägi)

'Two years ago we promised the children that the event would become a tradition and thanks to our supporters, we managed to again organise the event,' said Oro.

The Estonian Football Association provided the competition with professional referees who conducted the games, and not only this - they also helped the children to deal with their emotions and called for playing and not giving up when children tended to quit because it was difficult to deal with the negative result on the score line.

Winning was a bonus

Kai Räisa, the leader of the Elva orphanage, said that children would go back to Keila right away. 'They told me that it was a super weekend. In the beginning we were thinking whether we should participate or not - the trip to Keila is very long, three hours from Elva - but now I see their faces and it's clear that it was a good decision and we will come next time, too,' she said.

The fact that Elva came first in the younger age group was, according to Räisa, just a bonus. 'I think they would have been satisfied even without the win,' she said.

Educator Elle from Elva orphanage stressed that their children found new friends and they simply want to sport. 'Couple of our boys train football and I knew that they were good; I just didn't know they were that good,' she added.

Harry Gustavson, leader of the Maarjamäe Centre, who came first in the older age group, appreciated the opportunity to get out of the everyday atmosphere.

Motivating event

'Our concept is similar to SOS Children's Villages: we also have a family-based system, but we don't have that much joint activities with the whole centre; so it was good for the children to get out, jump and play football,' he said.

Football was not only played on the football pitch... (Photo: Marko Mägi)
Football was not only played on the football pitch... (Photo: Marko Mägi)
'Of course, winning was very important and I think also motivational - yesterday, the boys went to trainings very early, and some who had skipped the trainings some time ago have now started the trainings again.'

The youngsters of the Maarjamäe Centre were missing the competition, and, according to Gustavson, they constantly kept reminding him about it. 'For two years, the youngsters kept asking me - When are you going to call Keila and ask when is the football competition?'

Sport and music

14-year-old Tanel, member of the SOS Children's Villages team that came second, said that the level of the competition was very good. 'We lacked skills and experience,' he explained the loss in the final. 16-year-old Marko agreed that they were the second-best team. 'We should have played better, but the winners were simply better than we were.'

The contest for the first prize was a tight one because, according to Gustavson, the winners were very tired after the competition. 'In the evening it was very quiet at our centre,' he smiled.

The sporty weekend ended on high notes as Finnish-Tanzanian group PolePole performed with African drums in an interactive show where children had the chance to play drums and sing themselves.