Czech football club opens training camp for excluded children, says it has always relied on Romani players
The FK Baník Sokolov football club has opened a training camp for two dozen children from excluded localities in Sokolov, Czech Republic so they can play football every Wednesday. The Agency for Social Inclusion has reported the news on its website.
"The inspiration for this initiative was a summer meeting with representatives of Sokolov's non-governmental, non-profit organizations and Romani mediators who work with children and youth from the initiative of Sokolov Municipal Police Commander Petr Kubis," said FK Baník Sokolov CEO Miroslav Miškovský. At that time, a list of potential applicants between the ages of six and 13 was created and their parents were contacted.
"Our club has experience in training young people regardless of social conditions, players of Romani origin have been a mainstay of our club. There was an opportunity to move these children from the street to the pitch, and we are happy to take charge of it," said Miškovský, pointed out that a team of children from the excluded localities will not be created because they will instead be distributed into existing youth teams after the initial training.
The gym of the Sokolov Primary School is where the trainings happen. They are led by an experienced FK Baník coach, Tomáš Hájek.
"The task is to win boys' and girls' hearts for football, arousing positive emotions, the joy of improving, of competition, awareness of belonging to a team, a sense of fair play. We lead children to the art of accepting constructive criticism, understanding its meaning, we lead them to the art of looking for opportunities to improve. Cooperation with parents is very important - we don't just want to train the children, but also to educate them," added Miškovský, who said he is trying to create a group in the club that supports collective thinking.
"We apply the learned skills in small-format games. We try to take full advantage of the 'golden age of motor skills' during which players learn new skills the fastest and easiest. We support other physical activities such as cycling, swimming and other natural forms of movement. The children will try out most of the positions on all sides of the pitch, including the position of goalkeeper," Miškovský said.
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