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England add sparkle to Stronger Together campaign

Published: Saturday 7 May 2011, 13.24CET
Children from a local school exchanged gifts with England Under-17 players at their Novi Sad base on Thursday as part of the Football Association of Serbia's Stronger Together campaign.
by Tom Kell
from Novi Sad

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Published: Saturday 7 May 2011, 13.24CET

England add sparkle to Stronger Together campaign

Children from a local school exchanged gifts with England Under-17 players at their Novi Sad base on Thursday as part of the Football Association of Serbia's Stronger Together campaign.

England's players met and exchanged gifts with children from a local school as part of the Football Association of Serbia's (FSS) Stronger Together campaign.

Designed to highlight the negative impact of racism and discrimination, Stronger Together was an idea conceived soon after Serbia were awarded the 2011 UEFA European Under-17 Championship. The FSS, in conjunction with UEFA, has since worked hard to spread the word, involving children from all across the country.

Project leader and FSS grassroots manager Igor Janković was present at England's Novi Sad training base – at the home of Serbian second-tier side FC Proleter – as the players met youngsters who had created banners in support of the team they are to follow throughout the tournament.

"For the kids in the school it's very, very important," Janković told UEFA.com. "Having a chance to meet the team is the final part for the kids – it's a great motivation for them because lots of them are football players so meeting future European stars is great.

"The aim of the campaign is to make these kids better informed. We want to see a positive impact. We want the kids to be aware of the negatives of discrimination and racism. Before the tournament we visited all the schools and informed them about this. There is an educational pack which has also been distributed."

England captain Nathaniel Chalobah presented England shirts, pens and badges to Ljubica Jankov, Svetozar Markovic-Toza School's English teacher, while gifts were given in return to the players. It was the Stronger Together message, though, which proved most important to those involved.

"It taught us that there is no difference between dark skinned and light skinned," said pupil Stefan Petrović. "There is no difference in the goodness of people. Football is a team sport and it connects people all around the world, no matter what nationality, race or colour."

Last updated: 07/12/13 4.16CET

Related information

http://www.uefa.com/memberassociations/association=srb/news/newsid=1627573.html#england+sparkle+stronger+together+campaign

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