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Köln Kickt The Ball

Another day, another Mitfahrgelegenheit passenger — this time Dafina from Bulgaria, whose work as a government retirement consultant takes her over the whole world and, amazingly, may lead to a rendezvous with The Ball in Burkina Faso in March. We arrived in Köln (Cologne) right on time for the finals of an indoor street football cup organised by Köln Kickt.

Köln Kickt works predominantly with socially-disadvantaged, immigrant youth. Football brings the kids together and provides valuable life skills, integrates them into society, keeps them fit and off the streets as well as providing opportunities for social and personal development.

Jose Londji coaches one of the girls teamsJose Londji a project leader of Köln Kickt, coaches the girls

We were greeted by Jose Londji, an ex-professional from Cologne and Bayer Leverkusen who played for Congo at the African National Championships before his career ended prematurely due to injury.

The Ball was the guest of honour and was played with in the final of the boys’ competition and the opening games of the girls’ competition. The young people enthusiastically kicked The Ball and those that did got to sign it too.

A girls game with The BallA girls game with The Ball
A boys game with The BallA boys game with The Ball
A girls team pose with The BallA girls team pose with The Ball

Germany’s freestyle champion Dominik Kaiser gave a performance that will be remembered for a long time. What amazing skills.

We also had the chance to find out about Köln Kickt’s social football initiatives and to hear about an exciting World Cup project that is being organised together with 1FC Cologne (the top German Bundesliga football team) and 10 schools from all over Cologne. Each school “adopts” a different African nation and will get involved in cultural, music, art and sports projects that reflect the spirit of that country. In the lead up to the World Cup they will then present what they have done at the City Hall. And The Ball is going to be integrated into these classrooms: an exciting and unexpected development, which we are delighted about.

Next stop: Erfurt. Final preparations (travel gear), visit to the Health Department, a Nigerian visa to sort out and most importantly the chance to spend some time with my lovely little boy. Pauli, papa misses you.

Written by on Monday, February 1st, 2010

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The Ball 2018 left England on 25th March 2018 and travelled to the World Cup in Russia.

The Ball 2014 kicked off from England on 9th Jan 2014 and headed to the World Cup in Brazil.

The Ball 2010 left England on 24th Jan 2010 headed to the Opening Ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Ball 2006 travelled from London to the Opening Ceremony in Munich, Germany.

The Ball 2002 was carried 7000 miles across Europe and Asia to the World Cup finals in Korea & Japan.