The delegation of the Sports Youth Union of Stuttgart visited Samara in the framework of sport and youth exchange program between the sister cities. Activists of the 2018 World Cup Volunteer Center held a football lesson for the guests, where the German athletes learned about the preparation of Samara for the matches of the championship, as well as the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup, which will be held in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan and Sochi.
The history of a football friendship between Samara and Stuttgart began in 2015, when children from Samara playing for the team Chaika spent a few days in Germany. They lived in Russian-speaking families, trained together with the peer team from the Feuerbach sports club, became familiar with the new culture. Now is the time for a return visit.
"We have been working with the Sports Youth Union of Stuttgart for the past five years in the framework of cooperation of sister cities. The goal of our program is to build a close relationship between the young players so that they communicate all the time, not only during short trips. The exchange program is carried out by the administration of Samara, with the support of the German language center," Chaika Director Sergey Zorkin said.
One year later, the children that had become friends during last year's exchange program, met in Samara.
"Last year our family hosted Sasha and Lesha, and me and my brother Maximilian became good friends with them,” with a strong accent, but in fluent Russian Peter Kuzmenko said. “My parents are from Russia, even now in Germany they support the Russian national team and I support the German team. I am not going to become a professional athlete, but I like to play football and watch it. So I will be glad to come to Russia for the World Cup," he added.
On Sunday, athletes from Feuerbach visited Metallurg stadium. The children and their peers from Krylia Sovetov training center for football players came together with the players of the Samara football and Rubin from Kazan for the match of the 29th round of the Russian Championship. The children were able to watch the game, which ended in a tie with the score 1: 1.
“We knew that the Samara club plays in the Russian Premier League, and it was great to visit the match of the team,” Robert Junak, Head of the football program, Feuerbach coach shared his thoughts. “In 2006 Stuttgart hosted the matches of the World Cup, so we know how difficult it is to prepare for such an event, but we also know how great it is. We wish you good luck. Samara is nothing like our city; it is very big, stretched along the beautiful Volga river. Your people are hospitable, we are glad to be here and hope to return in 2018,” he added.
Prior to his visit to the Volunteer Center the Stuttgart delegation also had time to take ice hockey lessons, visit museum Samara Kosmicheskaya and the Samara Aviation and Space Exploration University Museum. The exchange program offers walks around the city and participation in a football tournament.