The project’s second phase involved a collaboration with Easyjet, who graciously provided discounted airfare for 14 participants and their six chaperones traveling from London to Geneva. These selected young individuals hailed from Wickers Charity and B-Six College in Hackney. Their exceptional progress during the week spent alongside Swiss participants in London, along with their unwavering commitment to training sessions and workshops, merited this opportunity. The Marriott Hotel generously extended discounted accommodations to ensure they enjoyed hearty breakfasts and restful nights.
Ecolint generously offered training and match play pitches, with Ecolint referees and coaches volunteering their time and expertise. Weekend lunches for all participants were thoughtfully provided by the parents of Swiss students, who dedicated their efforts to baking, serving, and operating the BBQ to feed approximately 50 guests each day – a commendable undertaking.
Dr. Mecky McNeil, who traveled from Zurich, delivered the Mental Health First Aid course, constructed using materials from UNICEF. Charles-Henri de Marignac, known as Mr. Potato Man from The Finance Forum Group, led an informative workshop on Financial Literacy. Marta Alcocer from IATA conducted an engaging workshop on Social Media branding. A private tour of UEFA was organized by Kieth and his helpful assistants, Yoan and Justin, who patiently addressed numerous questions and requests. They also generously provided tickets for the UEFA Youth League Semi/Finals at le Stade de Geneve, which proved to be an exhilarating experience for everyone involved.
Hublot, the renowned Swiss watch brand, arranged an exclusive factory tour, allowing all participants to witness watchmakers in action. Hublot’s Marie Simo secured a private room for the prize-giving ceremony, led by footballers Trae Coyle and Archie Brown from FC Lausanne Sport. Their presence was organized by Alex Phillips, an advisor to FIFA, who recognized the connection between their place of birth and upbringing and the current residence of our UK participants.
This trip would not have been possible without the dedicated care and attention provided by the accompanying chaperones: Kieran and Mark from Wickers Charity, Stev from B-SIX College, and Michael Wallace from Kickoff@3.
Special thanks are also due to Paul McKenzie from Youth Unity for his remarkable film footage, Geraldo Pestalozzi for his photography skills, Victor for his enthusiasm, and Andi, who flew in for a couple of days to capture footage for a documentary that encapsulates the essence of this project.