FCB Stars Share Soccer Tips
August 06, 2013
Barcelona teams up with Special Olympics Thailand and UNICEF Thailand to
promote social inclusion for children with intellectual
Messi and Pinto with Special
Learning from the Best
On the first day of FC Barcelona’s Tour of Asia stars Leo Messi
and Jose Manuel Pinto held a soccer skills clinic for athletes from Special
Barcelona teamed up with Special Olympics Thailand and UNICEF Thailand to
promote social inclusion for children with intellectual disabilities, of which
there an estimated 600,000 in Thailand alone. 18 Special Olympics athletes
from across Thailand took part in the skills clinic and a special Question and
Answer session with Pinto and Messi afterwards.
"FC Barcelona wins, but we do it through a style
connected with values," said Mr. Ramon Pont, Vice President of the FC
Barcelona Foundation. "It's through values that you can win. We try to take
advantage of the strength of sport to develop people, especially
Pinto defends his line during a
Special Olympics soccer skills training session
Questions from Athletes
a Question and Answer session with athletes from Special Olympics Thailand,
Jeerawad Kom-iad a 19 year old Special Olympics athlete from the province of
Nakorn Sriyhammarat, asked Messi if he had ever played football with Special
Olympics athletes and if so how did he feel about it. In response the world’s
greatest player said: “I have had many experiences playing with athletes of
all disabilities. I feel there is no difference interacting with all
athletes, whether they have an intellectual disability or a physical
disability, whether they are beginners or national players. Everyone
deserves an equal chance and I enjoy playing with all of them.” Messi was
also asked what makes a great footballer by the Special Olympics athletes.
He had this advice for the athletes: "training is the key. You have to give
up a lot. If you love the game, you have to fight for it and you have to
want to learn each and every day," he said. In response to Pailin
Sathitwimol a 13 year old Special Olympics female football player from
the central Lopburi province, who asked Messi what the most important thing
in his life is apart from Football he said it is his family and how he
values the time he spends with them when he is not playing football.
Messi signed the
shirts of all the Special Olympics athletes and each athlete received tickets
to FC Barcelona's training sessions.
Dr. Naris Chaiyasoot, Chairman of Special
Olympics Thailand expressed his appreciation to the players and the FC
Barcelona Foundation as well as to UNICEF Thailand and UNICEF East Asia and
Pacific, for giving the athletes this once in a lifetime opportunity and for
helping to create more awareness in Thailand of the abilities and challenges
of people with intellectual disabilities.
Today’s soccer skills clinic
for Special Olympics Thailand athletes by FC Barcelona stars follows similar
soccer clinics held in recent weeks by Manchester United players for Special
Olympics athletes in Australia and Liverpool FC players for Special Olympics
athletes in Indonesia.
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