On the pitch, without discrimination

SARAJEVO – Off on another flight to reach the Inter Campus centres in Bosnia and Herzegovina where the
local partners in Sarajevo and Domanovici were waiting for us for a week of
training and lessons. We had feared encountering harsh weather, since there is
still often snow on the ground in Sarajevo in March. However, what was in store
for us was sunny weather, which illuminated the white headstones in the city

The first two days in Sarajevo were very useful
to better understand how, during the harsh winter months, activities were
proceeding at the multi-ethnic and multi-religious centre of our partner Sprofondo
Bezdan. We were happy to see the way the children followed the instructions of
instructors Yasmin and Ahmed, as they proclaimed, "He’s better than
Mourinho!", and how they have been carrying out the coaching work that our
coaches Lorenzo and Silvio assigned them last September.

We found a few problems in coaching in the gym
during the winter due to the distance of the facilities and the lack of
heating. However, these things were balanced out by Sprofondo Bezdan’s
excellent organisation, thanks to the hard work from coordinators Hajrija,
Sinisa and all the volunteers (http://www.sprofondo.ba/).

The Inter Campus delegation then moved on to
Domanovici, near the better-known city of Mostar and it’s symbolic bridge,
where the programme has been going at full throttle. The number of children from
other schools requesting to take part continues to grow, despite the
differences in ethnicity; it seems the passion for football trumps everything
else. Also, the number of children has jumped to 100 and the training sessions
have increased from 2 to 3 per week. Local coordinator Zorica told us, "Two
years ago, I never would have imagined seeing Muslim and Croatian-Catholic
children getting on so well together. Beyond playing together, they’re also
inviting each other to birthday parties." It just shows how a goal is a
goal, no matter who takes the shot.