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Special Adventure Camp Liechtenstein 2023: An international football festival of inclusion

Last week we had the pleasure to organize our 22nd Special Adventure Camp. We kicked the camp of an Monday 18 in Vaduz.The 10 participating teams for people with mental and/or physical disabilities joined us in Liechtenstein from 6 different countries: among them are young football players from SCR Altach, Benfica Lissabon Foundation, FC Bruschgol, I Camaleonti Lugano, FC Chelsea Foundation, 1. FC Köln, Paris Saint-Germain Foundation, FC Sargans, VfB Stuttgart und FC Winterthur Brühlgut Stiftung.

In addition to a tournament, the programme included varied training sessions, a magic show in the Creative Academy by magician and illusionist Daniel Meier, a trip to the bird of prey park in Buchs and a creative painting workshop. There was plenty of variety away from the football field, the atmosphere was great and everyone visibly had fun.

The youth from the Special Adventure Camp meet the students of the Liechtenstein High School

Another central goal of the project week was to raise awareness of the topic of inclusion among the youth in Liechtenstein. Therefore, on the 2nd camp day, the Special Adventure Camp participants were guests at the Highschool of Liechtenstein.

The program started with an inclusion workshop for the 200 students. After the workshop, the students and players from the SAC combined and played a fun inclusion tournament that supported the needs of all participants. The goal was to help the students become more aware of the everyday challenges of people with disabilities.

Football Festival for inclusion at the Lindaplatzin Schaan

The crowning finale of the project week was the Football Festival of Inclusion at the Lindaplatz in Schaan. For this purpose, a football field was set up in the heart of the city on Friday, where the finals of the Special Adventure Camp tournament and an inclusive walking football tournament took place. To start the event, the music school of Liechtenstein played and Budokan master Metin Kayar and his students thrilled the audience with an impressive martial arts show. Afterwards the Walking Football Tournament started. Students of the University of Liechtenstein, members of the Liechtenstein Parliament, employees of the SDG Alliance, LGT Bank and Helvetia Insurance, representatives of the Islamic Community of Liechtenstein, as well as players from local football clubs, including FC Schaan, FC Vaduz, FC Buchs, kicked in mixed teams together with the young people from the Special Adventure Camp until late into the night for victory. The Swiss fan club of Benfica Lisbon, Casa Benfica Rorschach, was also present and played in a team with the youngsters from FC Lisbon until the final. The atmosphere was great. The focus was on togetherness, games and fun.

The home team FC Schaan earned the victory of the Walking Football Tournament as a team with the youth of 1. FC Köln. Benfica Lisbon was able to take home the trophy of the Special Adventure Camp tournament. But the real winner of the project week was inclusion.

FIM project manager Cengiz Biçer was delighted with the successful event: "For me as project manager, it was an exciting and unforgettable week. I realized once again that we really can break down fears and barriers with our educational and sports programs. Football has the incredible power to cross borders and unite people regardless of social background, culture, religion and health condition in a very short time. Inclusion can only succeed if we are all willing and try to integrate every person into our society without prejudice. Even if we are not all the same, we can make it so that the conditions are the same for all of us and therefore everyone has the same rights. My personal goal for this week was that the children and young people with disabilities were the focus and had fun. The Football Festival of Inclusion at Linde Square was an incredible experience for all participants. To this day, I still get messages from coaches, players and spectators that touch me deeply. People with and without disabilities, who were wild strangers to each other at the beginning of the evening, stood there after a few hours like a well-coordinated team and supported each other. No prejudices, no fears, no barriers. The only thing that counted that evening was the recognition, the cohesion and, of course, having fun playing soccer."

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We are grateful

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the partners of the Special Adventure Camp. Thanks to them, we were able to provide numerous young people with an adventurous sports camp and give them unforgettable memories!


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