A volunteer who helps provide football for 50% of the boys and girls in his region in the north-east of Turkey has been named Best Leader in the 2013 UEFA Grassroots Day Awards.
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Fikret Kadıoğlu has been named Best Leader in the 2013 UEFA Grassroots Day Awards, for his extraordinary organisational efforts provide football for 50% of the boys and girls in his region in the north-east of Turkey.
Kadıoğlu was presented with his award at the UEFA Grassroots Workshop in Oslo on Tuesday by Italian football legend, winner of the 2011 UEFA President's Award and UEFA grassroots panel member Gianni Rivera. Gerd Liesegang (Germany) and Ljubodrag Stanić (Serbia) won the silver and bronze awards respectively.
"The thing that makes me happiest is that I get to see the smiles on the kids' faces, to know that what I am doing makes them happy," said Kadıoğlu, who set up the scheme five years ago when almost 600 youngsters took part in an inaugural football festival. "Especially when a child is so excited that he or she cannot sleep at night, when parents tell me that kind of thing, I get really happy.
"Now the kids stay away from all kinds of bad behaviour. They have started to discover their own abilities. With this project, we gave them a chance to play, and that made them very happy. Also, we have a chance to recognise the talented children, and they have become part of official clubs, they have become registered players."