One city, 1253 athletes, 35 countries, 5 continents, 85 cities and in everybody‘s mind is just one event – the International Children’s Geames 2015.
All in all the athletes are between 12 and 15 years old and practise their sport in a club which had to registry them for the games. For sure every athlete is here, to practise their sport, but the focus is also on other important divisions. Communication, cultural insights and other things are really supported here.
In Alkmaar there is a sportsvillage with five tends. In one of them the athletes get their breakfast and dinner. The other four are used as the sleepingarea, two for every gender. In these tends there are no doors, because all of this so called rooms are graduated with screwed walls. The lights are on from 6 a.m. until 11 p.m. and there is no electricity in the sleeping-tends, just at a few places in the eating-tend. So electricity became a rarity. But this effects, that the kids from different countries and cultures know each other a little bit better, even if the language is a small barrier. Anyway you can clearly see, that most of the kids became friends, so sometimes there is a small smile of both sides during a competition. And this is such a moment, why the International Children’s Games are so exciting for young athletes. Of course cultural projects and the organisation of their freetime is a very important point on the list. So there was a pool party, a possibility for climbing and a cheese event in the old centre of Alkmaar. In all activities the kids were brought together and had the chance to talk to other kids of different countries. Contacts were socialized and friendships were bonded. For the children it’s important to have connection to other kids, because such experiences are major for their life. Suddenly the handy becomes unimportant, and the children go outside to play volleyball with other athletes.
Sunday evening the whole event was over and all athletes, coaches, volunteers and all the other participants were invited to the official closing ceremony. Every Athlete was honoured and the award for fair play was for a volleyball player from Graz. The official ICG-flag has become ours, and so the major of Innsbruck, Miss Magistra Opppitz-Plörer, was also at this spectacle. And they gave the official torch to Innsbruck, because there will be the International Children’s Games in winter 2016. In the end, there is just one thing to say:
The 49. International Children’s Games in Alkmaar have officially finished now!
Every athlete can be proud of themselves, because they made the Games very special, in their own way!
Text: Melanie Jelinek, Photo: Paula Fiegl | Mediabranch from the Ferrarischool of Innsbruck, innsbruck-tirol sports GmbH