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Youth Delegation to Italy

Tuesday 26 July 2005

From July 1 – 11 ten young people, accompanied by Rayek Rizek and Berna Layous travelled to Italy for the ninth Anti-Racist World Cup (Mondiali Antirazzisti), organized by Unione Italiana Sport per Tutti (UISP) of Emilia Romagna, which took place in Montecchio.

The delegation from NSWAS was sponsored by two twin cities of NSWAS in Italy: Modena and Fiorano Modenese. In the three days before the soccer event, a number of events were arranged for them in the region, including visits to Novellara and the Ferrari factory near Maranello. Also involved in organizing and hosting our delegation was the Associazione Araba di Cultura e Solidarietà of Novellara , headed by Youssef Salmi.

On Tuesday July 5, the delegation arrived in Montecchio for the games, though the tournaments themselves were only played on Saturday and Sunday. Before then came a variety of other events, including press conferences and rock concerts. One evening, a group of Slovakian Roma (Gypsy) musicians came to play before the tents of the NSWAS delegation and “Luxembourg against Racism”, and spontaneously organized a party.

The aim of the Anti-Racist World Cup is to bring young people (late teens to twenty-somethings) from all over Europe, including many minority groups. Altogether, 6,000 people participated, in 192 teams. In the tournaments, the emphasis is on fairness, rather than purely athletic achievements. As a result, the games are played without referees, and the teams are scored also for good behaviour. At the end, 16 cups were given in different categories. The NSWAS team received the “Kilometers Cup” as “the fairest team and, moreover [an] example of conviviality and dialogue among different cultures.”
Following the games there was a parade – demonstration in the city, which was attended by the mayor. Rayek was invited to speak there. And at the end, of course, there was a firework display.

The young people (and adult chaperons) of NSWAS will long remember the good time they had in Italy, and many of the friends they made said they would come to visit NSWAS. Among the first of these should be a representative of Luxembourg Contre le Racisme in August.

Two young NSWAS people in Montecchio
With friends from the event
Winning the "kilometers" cup

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