Six members of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC)’s Youth Panel have completed an educational trip to Russia to witness first-hand how host cities have engaged young people in their quest to host a memorable and inclusive FIFA World Cup.
The group, comprising two members from each of the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Youth Panel cohorts, visited Moscow during the group stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup and attended the Portugal versus Morocco encounter at Luzhniki Stadium, according to a report on sc.qa Established in 2015 by the SC, the Youth Panel provides Qatar’s next generation of sport and cultural enthusiasts the opportunity to become part of 2022 FIFA World Cup planning.
In Moscow, the group met with organisations involved in formulating a role for youth to play a crucial part in the success of the tournament, including local NGO Downside Up – a group committed to improving the quality of life for Russian children with Down Syndrome.
Downside Up organised for one of its members to be a mascot during the opening game of Russia’s tournament.
Irina Menshenina, general director of Syndrome of Love, a subsidiary of Downside Up, said: “We are excited about having an opportunity to raise the issue of inclusivity, both in Russia and globally, and consider the World Cup as the perfect arena to demonstrate the capacity of people with Down syndrome.
Our young people have played a key role during the tournament by working at the FIFA Foundation Festival and contributing as volunteers.”
Youth Panel members also took part in a workshop with the Volunteer Centre at Plekanov University, where they learned about the 2018 FIFA World Cup volunteer programme.
They heard that Russian universities were being used as volunteer centres across the country in order to support more than 30,000 participants.
Fatima al-Naimi, a member of the delegation, said: “This observation trip was informative, inspirational and invigorating.
Meeting organisations such as Downside Up, Plekhanov University and FIFA Foundation allowed us to gather advice on what made their initiatives successful, the challenges they encountered, and their tips for overcoming them.
“The trip was inspirational as it allowed us to visualise the plethora of opportunities that the FIFA World Cup provided for the youth of the host country and beyond.
It was especially useful to me as a university student as it illustrated the many functional areas that my peers and I could help lead and operate to contribute to this legacy that would soon be held in and contributed to by my own country. It truly was a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
The visit concluded with observational visits to the Moscow’s FIFA Fan Fest, the FIFA Foundation Festival and a cultural tour of Moscow’s major landmarks.
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