The Words of the Stewart Family
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Greetings from Madrid where the preparations for the 2009 Peace Cup Andalucía are moving forward with success. We held the Official Draw Ceremony on April 16 in Seville, the primary tournament location. It was most impressive, on a par or better than the draw for the World Cup or the Champions´ League, Europe's annual club championship, according to some of the participants. This followed the successful Peace Cup Inauguration event on February 17, also in Seville.
2009 will be the first time that the Peace Cup will be played outside of Korea, a move that has catapulted the tournament onto the world level. The teams that have been confirmed have made the Peace Cup the premier competition of the summer “friendly” pre-season tournaments. You can see the draw below: press.peacecup.com/images/article/10101/1000091_103.gif
Real Madrid was voted “team of the 20th century” and is currently 2nd in its league, Juventus is the most successful team in Italian football history and like Seville is 3rd in its league. Celtic is the best in Scotland, Porto the best in Portugal, Olympique Lyon, Peace Cup 2007 winners have been the French League Champions for a remarkable 7 years in a row, Liga de Quito are the 2008 Copa de Libertadores champions (i.e. Champions of S. America). Seongnam Ilhwa, Fenerbahçe and Al Ittihad are all the most historically successful teams in their nations and Aston Villa has been the surprise success of the English Premier League this season with Malaga being the same in Spain's ´La Liga`. Overall it is truly an impressive group, hence Pedja Mijatovic, Sporting Director of Real Madrid, and Vitor Baía of Porto both called the Peace Cup, “The Champions League of the summer”, referring to the premier European tournament just coming to its conclusion.
The tournament will be played from July 24 to August 2 in 5 stadiums in Andalucía, southern Spain, and Real Madrid will play its 2 round robin games in its own famous 80,000 seater Santiago Bernabéu ground. The opening and final matches will be played in Seville's Olympic Stadium.
As you can see True Parents´ investment in football has produced remarkable results. Rev. Kwak is a member of FIFA´s Strategic Committee, David Yoo has just been appointed to FIFA´s Special Projects Bureau. FIFA is football's ruling body which also has approved the Peace Cup. David was recommended for this position by the President of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Mohammed bin Hammam, possibly the second most powerful man in the world of football. Mr. Hammam spoke at the Peace Dream Foundation's (PDF) inauguration last June in Korea, Hyun Jin Moon is its President. Both Rev. Kwak and David are members of the AFC's Social Responsibility Committee, while Rev. Kwak is also President of the Korean Football League.
The purpose of the Peace Cup is to raise funds for the PDF. This is very challenging in the current economic climate. The Peace Cup's sponsorship goal has been drastically reduced since Spain was chosen as the 2009 Peace Cup venue in early 2008 and income estimates from the sale of TV rights have also tumbled. This has left the Peace Dream team in the unenviable position of having to decide where to invest money and which projects have to be postponed or canceled. The PDF has lofty goals to use sports, especially football, to promote peace and development mainly through connecting sports training with character development, combining ´performance character` with ´moral character`. The current President of FIFA, Joseph Blatter, President of FIFA, has said football is:
“a wonderful school for life. It brings hope. Its impact as an educational tool is considerable because it teaches discipline, respect and solidarity. Even if you can't turn every child into a talented player, you can't help but turn them into better people”.
However, given the behavior of famous footballers and sportsmen at all levels we can see that this is not a universal truth and will not become one without strong intentional investment on the part of coaches, families and communities to promote moral excellence, the PDF's goal. At present our main focus is to develop a project in the Israel, Palestine, Jordan region, the end goal of which is to build a Peace Stadium as close as possible to the Israeli-Palestine border to be freely available to both nations as a peace-building venture. Prior to that we need to build confidence and trust with both nations, which are understandably skeptical of NGOs visiting their nations with big ideas!
So the PDF will focus on teaching its ´Way of Champions` program of principles and values in three small communities, all near the Israeli-Palestine border. Two are in Israel, one Arab-Israeli, the other Jewish-Israeli, the third location being Jenin, Palestine. This will be combined with improving their existing facilities, which are in need of repair. Coaches from Jordan will be able to support the Arabic speaking coaches as they already ran a pilot project exploring and using the Way Of Champions (WofC) 5 Principles (Play Fair, Maintain Position, Develop Excellence, Build Teamwork and Create Excitement) and 10 Values (Respect, Responsibility, Leadership, Giving back, Honest, Self-control …) in 2008. Initially 30 Jordanian coaches implemented the program with their teams. This number will be expanded this year based on the very positive response typified by this remark from an experienced coach: “When the U17 team, which is participating in the WofC program, leave the club then the U18 team is very interested to learn what they are doing. The U18s hang around until the U17 team returns. The U17s then share their experiences and what they have learned. This is an example of giving back, the latest value that we have been studying.” -Coach Emad (Shabab Al-Ordun club)
Another coach reflected on his personal experience with the program: “Everyone knows me. I never liked losing and was always angry if my team would lose. My players copied me, and showed very unsocial behavior. After working with WofC program I have a more positive way to deal with losing and my players are changing too”. - Coach Eyad
A very successful introductory seminar to the WofC attended by coaches from Jordan, Palestine and Israel at the end of April in Aqaba, southern Jordan, received the approval of the Jordan Football Association. To do this and to begin the WofC program requires considerable investment and other projects have been sacrificed such as PDF's support of the Parnu Peace Dream Summer Cup in Estonia.
In Estonia PDF has an excellent foundation from the work of Play Football Make Peace, now known as Peace Dream Football. The PDF has a very good relationship with the President of the Estonian Football Association (FA), who is on the FIFA Committee for Fair Play and Social Responsibility, as are our friends the AFC President Hammam and the Jordan FA President. This is partly the result of the support that has been given to the Parnu Peace Dream Summer Cup for youth footballers from 10 to 16 years old for the last couple of years and the activities of Play Football Make Peace in Estonia since 2004. Last year the Way of Champions was also introduced to coaches in during the Parnu tournament. The Estonian FA President has expressed his desire to include the Way of Champions as part of the education program all new coaches have go through to get their initial certification. But we need to maintain this relationship and a little sponsorship helps!
The goal is to invite teams from Russia and Georgia to participate and have them do some volunteer service together with teams from the Ukraine and Estonia plus introduce them to the Way of Champions. This will show football's great potential to break down barriers. Last year the Parnu politicians were amazed that a Russian team helped clean up a local park and that a Ukrainian team painted benches and planted trees in a senior citizens´ residence. Later in the year the PDF ran a successful small project in a border town between Estonia and Russia, never easy neighbors, with children from both sides participating. This was led by two members of the Estonian national women's team, whom the PDF had sponsored to represent Estonia in a week long excellent program run in Israel that summer (www.football4peace.com) by Brighton University from England.
More than this has been done and the PDF needs to maintain its foundation so as to be an integral part of the Estonian FA President's goal that Estonian football becomes a model of social responsibility for all of Europe. Thus I have set up a fund on www.fundable.com for the Parnu Peace Dream Summer Cup with a low goal of $2,000 but reality is that much more is needed! Please support True Parents´ remarkable vision to use football as a vehicle of restoration. The location is: www. fundable.com/groupactions/groupaction.2009-04-22. 1333129388
For further information or if you would like to help me expand this appeal beyond our beloved Unification community, please contact me directly.
Peace Cup tickets should go on sale on May 15th -- check www.peacecup.com for details
God Bless you and yours,