Aan het door HVO-Querido georganiseerde voetbaltoernooi op 7 september jl. op het Olympiaplein deed ook een team van Elsevier mee. Eén van de spelers, Martin Laduc, in het dagelijks leven Digital Communications Support Specialist bij Elsevier, schreef een enthousiast verslag.
The goal of the tournament was to connect people trough sports and show sportsmanship. As a the team we had decided it was more important to win the hearts than the matches. To make sure this would happen, we tried to set an example by doing two things after every match:
1. We would immediately go to the entrance of the field, and then applaud for the other team and shake hands.
2. We would choose the man of the match of our team who would receive the ‘golden’ chain. Because even if you lose, you can still reward someone for his or her effort.
Long story short: we have won 3 matches, 1 draw, and 1 loss, we even brought back a trophy, and we showed sportsmanship in every match!
The first match was tough because we needed to warm up and get familiar with the rules. By coaching each other and clear communication, we showed that a team is stronger than a bunch of individuals. We started to get more ball possession and eventually won with 4-1.
The second match was pretty easy and during the match we decided to let the other team score. We quickly scored 3 goals, but we noticed that we weren’t achieving our goal: winning their hearts. Some context, a part of the team has mental issues and social activities are extremely difficult for them. So we decided to give some room for them to score goals. Why? For some of them scoring would not only be their personal highlight of the tournament, but possibly also of the year.
During the third match we noticed that some of the teams had difficulties understanding the rules. In one occasion this resulted in a penalty for us, but then we choose to pass the ball to the keeper instead of scoring. Letting the team down by creating a penalty was punishment enough.
The most interesting experience of the tournament was against the so-called ‘illegal immigrants’ during the fourth and fifth match. These guys really don’t have anything, therefore this tournament meant everything for them.
We really needed to step up our game, because they had won all their previous games. They really played on the edge, one example that stood out is an elbow I received to the jaw. On which the bench on the side replied with a wink: “Welcome to African football!’
But they were also warm-hearted, after every foul there was always a ‘sorry’ and shaking hands from both ends.
At the end of the tournament the organization thanked us for joining. They really enjoyed our sportsmanship, which implied that we had won their hearts.