ZAMARDI – Every year, the children of Inter Campus Hungary come together for a summer tournament involving both the Budapest and Szendrolad centres – and once again this year, we were there to see it.
The children – accompanied by their coaches and parents – descended on Zamardi in their droves.
Zamardi is a small town on the banks of the Balaton lake in the Somogy region, south east of Budapest. It was here that we met the children and the local instructors, Gabor, Joet and Krisztian, who helped us run the week of activities.
Together, we organised several training sessions, choosing one technical objective and one cognitive/social objective for each one. It was a great way of making every session varied and fun.
Topics included moving with the ball, receiving the ball and kicking the ball, but equal emphasis was placed on promoting interaction between team-mates and ensuring children from the two centres mixed. Our overarching goal is to foster greater social integration, and so all of the exercises we laid on were organised with this in mind.
All of the kids showed huge amounts of enthusiasm through the week, but there was one lad deserving of a special mention.
Ionit, from the Szenzolad site, is deaf and mute, but he became a key member of his team on account of his ability to use non-verbal communication to help his new friends improve by playing together. Seeing this was a highlight for us all.
Our special thanks go to the Children Protection Office (CPO), the agency responsible for orphans in Hungary, who helped organise the camp. Thanks also to our local partner Love is the Answer, who look after the Inter Campus Hungary sites all year round.
Nonetheless, our biggest thank you of all goes to the children themselves. They represent a daily reminder of how football can serve as a springboard towards integration. And long may it continue!