SKF Peru finally arrived to Gothenburg early on Sunday morning after a journey that included missed flight and lost luggage. The team will compete in the GIRLS 12-class and the youngest one is nine years old. But the girls are not here on vacation, they want to win.
The school yard of ISGR (The International School of the Gothenburg Region) is loud and crowded. It’s the home for all of the SKF teams during the tournament and they have just had a welcome ceremony. Two big speakers plays music and the kids around the school yard are dancing och playing football together. A group of girls plays football in one area.
They are dressed in white t-shirts and shorts with the flag of Peru on their chest. The team is from a districted in Lima called El Agustino and their club is funded by donations. They have traveled to Gothenburg together with their coaches, two moms and Marite Alarcon who works for SKF in Peru.
– It was a lot of tears on the airport in Lima. Everybody cried. Some of the girls was quite sad on the flight here, but everyone have been on good mood since we arrived and are so excited to be here, says Marite.
The journey took over twenty four hours. They was supposed to fly from Lima to Gothenburg with a connection flight in Amsterdam. But the flight was late and they missed their connection in Amsterdam. The girls had to split up in two groups to get here. One of the groups flew from Amsterdam to the Swedish city called Linköping and then traveled by bus to Gothenburg. Unfortunately some lost their luggage on the way but was able to get it back late on Sunday night.
Every year SKF arrange tournaments in the countries were they are located. The winners gets a sponsored trip to Gothia Cup by the company. They represent both their country and SKF. This gives a lot of kids around the world an opportunity to travel to Gothenburg, make new friends and play football. Hillary is twelve years old and this is the first time she leaves Peru and travels by airplane.
– I was afraid in the beginning, but it got better during the flight. I’m so happy to be here! And the school is so nice, I wish I could go to a school like this, says Hillary.
You could easily see the sparkle in the girls eyes when they play out on the school yard. Marite says that they are eager to play their first game. The girls are very motivated despite the long journey and the fact that they travled here without their families. They want to win.
– Gothia Cup will be a lifetime memory for these girls, says Marite.
*SKF Peru plays in GIRLS 12 group 4