''Football for the environment,'' was the motto of the three-day football camp organised by TSG Hoffenheim in Namibia. The crowd certainly came out in force in the capital city Windhoek, with 60 children and 20 teachers/coaches taking part in the event. ''It was a very successful trip and the camp was great fun once again,'' said Sebastian Bacher, director of the TSG football school. The 31-year-old was responsible for leading the camp alongside the coaching duo Nadine Gayer and Maximilian Roth.
The opening ceremony, held on Friday 24 May, was attended by the German Ambassador Christian-Matthias Schlaga as well as the Namibian Minister for Education and Culture, Anna Nghipondoka, and the Minister for Sport and Youth, Agnes Tjongarero. After a grand opening ceremony, the focus of the next three days on connecting environmental education with football training. Due to climate change, species extinction and global waste problems, it's vital that children are given an understanding of ecology and encouraged to think of suggestions for improvement, via such means as a musical presentation or quiz questions. "It was important for us to use football to help get across an environmental message. To take just one example, we organised an environmental tournament where children not only scored points for scored goals, but also for finding the right answer to questions about the environment," says Bacher.
On Sunday, 26 May, the Namibian coaching team prepared the entire day's training and received feedback on their work from the TSG team. According to Sebastian Bacher, the response was entirely positive: ''We're delighted to be able to give our support to children, teachers, schools and other organisations in Namibia once more. Our work in Africa forms the cornerstone of our international engagement. We have several camps and educational events planned for the future too.''
The camp, organised as part of the sustainable strategy for the future ''TSG is movement,'' represented another collaborative project in the formal partnership between TSG Hoffenheim and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, which was established last September. The expressed goal of the partnership is to work together to aid development in Africa. The Ministry is just one of many partners with whom TSG is engaged: The German society for international cooperation, the Namibian NGO EduVentures as well as the IT company DV-Systems are all involved in collaborations with the club. DV-Systems have assisted TSG with all of its projects in Africa, in particular the football camps in Windhoek. As a gesture of gratitude, the DV-Systems logo is printed on the jerseys and t-shirts given to all participants.