Football youngsters making friends in Russia

Monday June 11, 2018 Written by Published in Soccer
From left: Amqle Tuaratini, Daniel Ngamata and Michelle Paiti are currently in Russia for the 2018 Football for Friendship (F4F) programme. 18060828 From left: Amqle Tuaratini, Daniel Ngamata and Michelle Paiti are currently in Russia for the 2018 Football for Friendship (F4F) programme. 18060828

The 2018 Football for Friendship (F4F) programme started in Russia yesterday, with two young Cook Islanders along for the ride.

Daniel Ngamata and Amqle Tuaratini left the country earlier this week with team chaperone Michelle Paiti to attend this annual programme in the lead-up to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

F4F is an international children’s social programme organised by Gazprom, an international company supporting global social projects and setting new standards in relation to social policy.

Ngamata is representing the Cook Islands as a football coach, while Tuaratini is attending as a young journalist.

They are both excited and grateful for this amazing opportunity of a lifetime.

“I am very flattered to be given this opportunity to travel to another country,” said Ngamata.

“I’m very excited to meet kids from around the world and enjoy playing football with them and to meet famous football players, but what excites me the most about this trip is the experience I will be having of something new and big.”

“I’m excited about going on this trip because I get to meet so many people, I get to experience a different place, I get to have so much fun playing with kids, learning about their culture and so much more,” Tuaratini added.

The Cook Islands team left the country on Tuesday, travelling through Auckland and Doha to Moscow, Russia.

Ngamata and Tuaratini will join 147 new countries and regions in the F4F programme, which translates to 3700 people aged between 12 to 16 years old having participated in the programme over the past five years.

The forum will see participants discussing how to promote the programme’s core values of friendship, equality, fairness, health, peace, devotion, victory, traditions and honour.

The programme concludes with all F4F participants attending the opening match of the FIFA World Cup on June 14 as hosts Russia take on Saudi Arabia at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

Additionally, more than 5000 media outlets worldwide will cover the programme, which is considered a unique educational programme by the United Nations.

“We are extremely excited for our two children who have been selected for this great opportunity to represent the Cook Islands in Russia and for them to have this ultimate football experience,” Cook Island Football Association’s Mii Piri earlier said.

Leave a comment