On the first day of school after summer holidays, football icons and volunteers shared their experience and anticipation for the FIFA World Cup with young students from the 11 Host Cities. The 'Football Lessons' were about the 2018 FIFA World Cup, the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017 and the promotion of active lifestyles among young people.
“I want to congratulate you on the first day of school and wish you a productive year. I hope you bring joy to your teachers and parents,” said Alan Kasaev from FC Lokomotiv Moscow, who attended one of the Football Lessons held in Moscow and is hopeful of making the squad for the upcoming 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™. “We absolutely cannot wait for the World Cup - it’s going to be a huge celebration and will help to develop the Host Cities as well,” he went on to add.
Spartak Moscow players Artyom Rebrov and Sergei Pesyakov, and Lokomotiv Moscow players Alan Kasaev and Artyom Galadzhan also visited two Moscow schools as part of the event. They interacted with the kids, answering questions and taking pictures.
“I really enjoyed the lesson: there was lots of interesting information about the stadiums and how the tournament is organised,” 11th grader Nikita Zlobin, who is a student at an Economics college linked to the Plekhanov Russian Economics University, told FIFA.com. “I am not an avid football fan but I found out a lot of interesting details about the World Cup and the FIFA Confederations Cup. Hopefully, I’ll be able to watch some of the matches at the stadium," he added.
"This is the first time I’ve been involved in a lesson of this kind. I really enjoyed it and I hope the kids did as well," commented Artyom Rebrov, goalkeeper for Spartak Moscow. “I think we should have more events like this in schools to tell children that the World Cup is coming to Russia very soon and to get them excited about it,” he added.
“It was so great to see how interested the kids are. The idea behind this project is to use Knowledge Day to talk about the World Cup and Confederations Cup, which are coming to Russia very soon, and the legacy of these tournaments for our country,” said the CEO of the Russia 2018 Local Organising Committee Alexey Sorokin, who joined Smertin in one of the Football Lessons. “What’s more, football encourages values and qualities that are essential to any education: mutual respect, healthy lifestyles and fair play.”
In some Russia 2018 Host Cities, the Football Lessons made their way onto the pitch. In Yekaterinburg, for example, 11 Ural FC players were challenged to a game by 200 youngsters - a match that may find its way into the Russian Book of Records. At the Samara Sports College, Ibragim Tsallagov, a player with FC Krylia Sovetov, ran a master class for aspiring penalty-takers.
In Saint Petersburg, the Football Lesson was attended by Zenit FC forward Aleksandr Kerzhakov and the club’s Academy Director Vladimir Kazachenok. In Kazan, the list of guests included Host City Ambassador and Rubin Kazan goalkeeper Sergey Ryzhikov, as well as Kazan Mayor Ilsur Metshin, while in Saransk the Mordovia FC manager and players joined Nizhny Novgorod Host City Ambassador Dmitry Cheryshev.
Football Lessons are an LOC project implemented together with the Russia 2018 Volunteer Centres. The initiative was first launched in December 2015 as part of the Generation 2018 programme, which aims at uniting football fans around their interest in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia and the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017.