THE DREAM OF PEACE
Make Peace (PFMP), a project of the World Association of NGOs (WANGO) and a
Peace Dream Foundation (PDF) partner, has been active in
PFMP has been working with Reigo ever since. Based upon a shared vision which Reigo and Robin Graham, the PFMP program director, developed in 2006, a plan was set in motion to partner up with the Parnu Summer Cup for 2007 and launch a strategy to influence European football and to develop and provide a model for UEFA to use. The basis of this strategy was to introduce the ideas that when lived can lead to peace through football.
During 2005 there had been remarkable shifts. The United Nations had recommended the use of sports as a tool for development and FIFA began to partner with NGOs to express its commitment to social responsibility. PFMP, at that time, was exploring not only ways to encourage service to others, but also to explore the ethics within sports which could lead to improved social and economic development. Over the previous ten years, in small but effective programs, there had been a growing interest in how character development in sports could have an influence on personal, family and community growth.
PFMP and FC
Vaprus launched the Parnu Summer Cup - Play Football Make Peace
in 2007, a partnership to explore these ideas and to develop a model which
could be incubated in a small country, but which, if successful, could then be
shared with the rest of
Because WANGO has made a strategic partnership with the Peace Dream Foundation, through the growing relationship with PFMP, the tournament organizers have now arranged for the cups awarded to the three prizewinners and those awards for Fair Play to be in honor of the new partnership with the Peace Dream Foundation and named the Peace Dream Cup and the Peace Dream Trophy. The peace concept is now becoming very familiar to the players, coaches, and parents. This makes it much easier to share ideas on teaching values through football which can help youth develop healthy minds and healthy bodies.
feature, which is very memorable, is that the tournament has the largest cake
The 2008 Parnu Summer Cup attracted 97 teams and close to 1600
players from 10-16 years old. It has grown to become the largest tournament in
THE 2008 PARNU SUMMER CUP, JUNE 26-29
The Summer Cup and Social Responsibility
with FC Vaprus, The Peace Dream Foundation (PDF) and
PFMP in organizing the Summer Cup is reaching new levels of achievement. Reigo Tonsberg and Robin Graham
made plans back in 2006 and early 2007 to position the Parnu
Summer Cup to be a vehicle for a commitment to create change in the current
football culture. This was started in a partnership renaming the tournament The Parnu SummerCup – Play Football
Make Peace. This already signaled that there was a qualitative
difference between the Parnu tournament and other
tournaments in the Baltic nations and throughout
For some, the game may still be simply about winning at any cost. But increasingly we are seeing that coaches have an interest in discovering or rediscovering the beauty of the game; that football is not only about physical mastery and skills, but that it aspires to promote true sportsmanship, respect and a good attitude to life. The Estonian Football Association (EFA) president, Aivar Pohlak, has for a long time been an advocate for a renewed vision for football. He is a member of the FIFA Fair Play and Social Responsibility Committee and has been very active in UEFA voicing his concern that football should be a sport to be played and enjoyed by all, and that football should contribute back to society.
Reigo and Robin saw the potential for a strategic alliance
with Aivar Pohlak and that
a shared vision could emerge whereby
An example of PFMP’s intention to include other NGOs and partners was the
pre-tournament seminar held in
listened to PFMP Director of Education, Mr. David Stewart give the presentation
Way of Champions, which introduces the principles and values which
PFMP believes can help shift football culture to help build a better society.
The response to the presentation was excellent. There is so much in the 5
principles and 10 values which is common to sports and non-sports people alike.
PFMP is hoping to link up with fellow travelers and cooperate with them to add
even more value to the PFMP outreach to youth through football. There is much
to be done to build awareness and to actively support social programs. NGOs are
at the forefront of citizen action and PFMP is committed to partner with the
best NGOs to help and serve both football youth and the communities they live
in. NGOs are particularly active in
There is a need for football youth to “walk the talk.” Since 2004, PFMP has asked the young footballers entering its programs to participate in voluntary social service projects for 4 hours per month. For the 2008 Summer Cup, PFMP recruited the help of a local service projects organizer, Mr. Avo Martinson, to arrange service projects in Parnu which players could join to actively model PFMP’s vision of the relationship between football and social responsibility. This activity took place on Saturday, June 28.
There were two
programs. One involved cleaning up litter in a local park. Over 30 youth were
involved, among them members of the one Russian team in the tournament. Given
the historical animosity and strained relationships in the last two years
A second project
involved helping to paint benches and garden objects in an old people’s home in
Parnu. The director of the home was amazed by the
enthusiasm of the players. Teams from
The projects are an example of the kind of programs that can be arranged in the coming year for the Estonian Football Association. Plans have been put in place to start projects for FC Vaprus youth players (about 250 players) and follow-up projects will follow for other football clubs which join the program. In April of 2008, Aivar Pohlak was very enthusiastic about the concept of young footballers involving themselves in service projects. Through the Summer Cup 2008, PFMP offered an immediate launch of this service initiative which can be adopted by the EFA and Aivar Pohlak.
The Summer Cup and PFMP Principles and Values
On Friday night (it remains light very late in the far north) after an exhibition game between coaches and tournament organizers, coaches were invited to a presentation of The Way of Champions in the Rannahotel. Though it was late in the evening, about 25 coaches turned up. Of course many more had their youth teams to care for, as it was getting close to curfew at 10 PM, so the turn-out was quite impressive.
Again Mr. David Stewart gave the presentation. It was very well received. A national reporter for the leading sports magazine was also present and very impressed by the program. It is significant that coaches recognize the simplicity of the ideas, yet the universal appeal that they have and the willingness of coaches to adopt them. Of course this is not a one-time solution and needs a programmatic approach with continued training and shared experience. It is important to note that though coaches may be reluctant to gather to share tactics and strategies for playing football, they are willing to get together to discuss positive values.
At first it may seem that education about peace should start with discussions about geopolitics, national, ethnic and religious divisions, but the PFMP educational program starts with principles which deal with player behavior on & off the pitch. Football behaviors and attitudes begin with the game, but can be taken off the pitch and become part of everyday life. In this way football can teach about peace and self mastery. Peace begins within each person. Football is a great vehicle to teach this.
The presentation is a simple step to introduce the Peace Dream concept. The strategy is to begin with coaches and their youth and build a holistic education for the players through which the coach teaches more than just the physical skills by introducing and modeling the principles and values for success. This is a transformative approach. Not top down, but bottom up.
Peace may appear to be made at the conference tables of the world’s super powers. But in reality peace begins in our homes, in our communities, around the dinner table. It begins in the heightened emotions of stressful situations, like on the football field. Can the player keep self-control? Can he/she have self mastery? This is where the Peace Dream becomes a reality. The engagement of coaches in this process is how the vision of peace can be stimulated and be made real.
The Parnu Summer Cup and the Peace Dream Cake
highlight of the tournament was the cutting of the tournament cake. In 2007, the Summer Cup started the tradition
of the “peace cake.” This was decided to be a symbol of youth footballers
sharing in peace. In 2008 the cake was the largest ever made in
The Saturday evening activities were almost spoiled by rain, but the atmosphere was great and there was no stopping the event. PFMP Program Director, Robin Graham thanked the gathered players and their parents and offered the day’s service projects and social responsibility activities to those gathered in the stands. The banner “Football is Socially Responsible!” was highlighted in front of the entire crowd.
The vice mayor of Parnu came to thank the teams for attending and with Mr. Graham cut a section of the Peace Dream cake to symbolize a successful completion of the major part of the tournament.
The Peace Dream Cup
Sunday, June 29 was the last day with the final matches to decide first, second, and third places. The older age bracket of under-16 year olds competed for the Champion’s Peace Dream Cup. A Ukrainian team, Slavutich won the tournament and their captain received the Peace Dream Cup presented by Mr. Jason Sue from the PDF. All the team and coaching staff received the Peace Dream gold medals.
Second and third place Peace Dream Cups were presented by Mr. Robin Graham and Mr. David Stewart with silver and bronze Peace Dream medals for all the players and coaching staff. The winning and runner-up trophies were awarded to the younger age groups, and the presentations were made by Mr. Ivo Tahk, President of FC Vaprus.
center piece of the Peace Dream cake, with the name and logo of Peace Dream,
was cut by the organizing partners and the last pieces were enjoyed by the
remaining players. This concluded the successful tournament with another step
forward for the launch of the Peace Dream Foundation in