Approximately 2,400 staff members are found at schools, by the fields, in kiosks and other places during the Gothia Cup week. One of them is Marjorie Cerda, 32, who for the 10th consecutive year will spend time working at the worlds largest youth football tournament.
“The best thing is connecting with people and talk to all the youths and coaches of different ages and from different countries”, says Marjorie Cerda.
She grew up in Biskopsgården, Gothenburg, and has her roots in Chile. Marjorie Cerda works at a childrens day care, has a big passion for Bolivian and Chilean dance and has won several dance prices. But every year, in the middle of July, she devotes her time to football, joy and fellowship.
“It’s very fun working as a Gothia Cup staff. Me and my team have been working together for four years now and we have great teamwork, says Marjorie Cerda, who works as a team leader at Hovåsskolan in Gothenburg.”
She used to play football in Färjenäs IF and Cruz Azul, but an injury shortened her career as a football player. Through a community youth center that Cruz Azul arranged she came to her first contact with Gothia Cup.
“I worked at the center during Gothia Cup, and from there I got the opportunity to become a school host. And then I continued to become a team leader.”
She spent five summers at Sjumilaskolan before she started at Hovåsskolan. This will be her 10th year as a staff member. As a team leader she is responsible for the school, that everything is clean and that the teams enjoy their stay. Together with her team she solves problems that might occur and Marjorie is the one that keeps the contact with the Gothia Cup organization both before, during and after the tournament.
Do you have any extra strong memories from these years that you’ve been working with Gothia Cup?
“I have many. One of them is from last year when we got the chance to see a football game. We saw the Chilean team, they hadn’t been here for a long time before that. There were a lot of Chilean people cheering, everybody was singing, the weather was hot and everything was beautiful.”
“Another memory is from when I was working at Sjumilaskolan and a boys team from Iraq advanced to the semi-finals. It was the first time they had made it so far in the tournament. They were so happy that they brought us gifts and told us how much they appreciated us being their hosts during the week. It all ended with a big water fight, where everyone who lived at the school participated. It was amazing.”
What is the best thing about being a staff member at Gothia Cup?
“Connecting with people. All the dialects and languages, both from other countries and from other cities in Sweden. Many youths talks to us about their lives and experiences, it’s fantastic that they want to share that with us. We get a chance to give them some advice along the way.”
What do you look forward to the most?
“Welcoming the teams. Some teams arrive on the Saturday before it all starts, and we like to welcome them at the school yard. It’s nice to make them feel taken care of, everybody is very happy.”
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