“We were like 22 feet in one body”
At the end of May, the Galatasaray High School team from Istanbul won SKF’s first Meet the World tournament to be held in Turkey. By winning the local pre-tournament, the Girls U18 school team (not to be confused with the famous Galatasaray football club) will now travel to Gothenburg this summer to play in the Gothia Cup tournament.
Izgi and Deniz both play on the Galatasaray High School team. Here they share some thoughts on their team, the Meet the World tournament and the upcoming Gothia Cup.
“My name is Izgi. I’ve been playing football for a year. We play in the Kızlar Sahada (Girls on the pitch) league and also in the Golden League. The best thing about our team is our leader, Göksel Abi. He is our coach and is like a big brother to us. The best part of the SKF Meet the World tournament was the challenge we faced and the team spirit we had as teammates. We played 4 games in the tournament. It felt like I was free and independent and dedicated only to my team on the field. Winning is just the result out of that. We won the competition, because we had togetherness. We were like 22 feet in one body.”
“My name is Deniz. I am a defender on the team and have been playing football for 10 months. Our team plays at least 1 game per week and we train 2-3 times per week. For me, the best thing about the Galatasaray High School team is that it is more of a family than a football team. The SKF Meet the World tournament was a great opportunity to build up a team together. The best part was to play in front of our schoolmates and feel their support. We played together like a real team.”
The trip to Sweden will be the first time travelling abroad for both Izgi and Deniz. They are both looking forward to experience the exciting atmosphere of the Gothia Cup, and to come into contact with different cultures and teams from all over the world.
In his day job, Çağlar Meker is a Pricing Manager at SKF Turkey. He is passionate about football and organized the SKF Meet the World tournament in Turkey. He explains why SKF Turkey decided to participate in Meet the World for the first time this year.
“We understand it’s a great event. It helps us to integrate more closely with the rest of SKF and to support young children locally. We decided to organize a Girls tournament as women’s football is not so common in Turkey. There is no professional league. We want to help develop and encourage more women to play more football. At SKF Turkey, we are very excited about participating in this fantastic event and to give young girls the opportunity to play football abroad.
SKF MEET THE WORLD TOURNAMENTS
• Started in 2007
• Aim is to promote teamwork, responsibility and equal opportunity
• Arranged each year in approx. 25 countries where you find SKF
• 42 countries have participated
• 27 000 players
• 3 500 of whom SKF have brought to Gothenburg – all expenses paid
• Give children, who might not otherwise be able to afford to travel to Sweden, the chance to come to Gothenburg and be part of the Gothia Cup.
• For more information about SKF Meet the World, visit meet-the-world.com
This post is also available in: Svenska