2017 UEFA Super Cup : Dream come true for hearing impaired youngsters
The Importance and Impact of the Universal Language of Football
Thanks to superb cooperation between UEFA and the UEFA Foundation for Children, 19 hard-of-hearing young people from Skopje were given the opportunity to perform Coldplay’s A Sky Full of Stars at the opening ceremony of the UEFA Super Cup, sending out a strong message of integration, respect, and solidarity.
Days and days of rehearsals went into preparing to show millions of people how the world of football should be for everyone.
“Yesterday I was shaking, my heart was beating; I wanted it to be our best performance. I’m very happy that such a nice thing happened to all of us,” said Serpil Demirova.
The UEFA Foundation for Children Back Story:
For the third year, the UEFA Foundation for Children played an active role in the UEFA Super Cup opening ceremony, raising awareness and sending messages of tolerance, solidarity and social inclusion towards our most vulnerable children.
This year’s UEFA Super Cup was UEFA Champions League titleholders Real Madrid CF and UEFA Europa League champions Manchester United FC in Skopje, FYR Macedonia, played on 8 August.
Final Score: Real Madrid defeated Manchester United 2-1.
Before kick-off, a group of 19 hearing-impaired youngsters from the local state school for education and rehabilitation, DUCOR Partenija Zografski, performed Coldplay’s A Sky full of Stars in sign language, alongside Falsetto children’s choir.
In doing so, they sent a powerful message to the world about the importance of integrating children with disabilities in society.
European football and the clubs clearly supported the cause by sharing this unique stage, thereby promoting diversity and respect.
The youngsters also had the opportunity to meet the players from both teams and share their mutual love of football ahead of the match.
“Participating in an event such as the opening ceremony of the UEFA Super Cup would be a dream come true for any number of children and teenagers, but for these deaf teenagers it is even more than that,” says Viktorija Volak, a teacher at DUCOR Partenija Zografski. “It is an honor. It’s exciting but they also want to perform to the best of their abilities, to thank the UEFA Foundation for Children for giving them this opportunity and to send, in their natural way, a message of equality despite the differences between us all.”
Pascal Torres, general secretary of UEFA Foundation for Children, adds, “Football is a universal language and an inspiring force for integration and positivity. By inviting these hard-of-hearing young people to perform in front of an audience of millions, we’re sending the message that, whoever you are, wherever you come from and whatever problems you face, you have a part to play in the world of football.”
Did you know?
Established in 2015, the UEFA Foundation for Children is a charitable organization governed by Swiss law. It defends the rights of underprivileged children by using the power of football to improve their lives and to help them develop their potential and find their place in the community. The foundation currently invests in more than 60 projects in 50 countries worldwide. More than 500,000 children have already benefited from the foundation’s work since its creation.
The foundation currently invests in more than 60 projects in 50 countries worldwide. More than 500,000 children have already benefited from the foundation’s work since its creation.