ECO-Schools, City Tours and an Ambassador Reception at the Ritz Carlton…all in a day at SCWC !

October 11, 2022

After two days of preparation for the General Assembly and the football tournament, Street Child World Cup participants got the chance to see what else Doha has to offer today (Monday) on another memorable day in the Qatari capital.

This morning saw teams split into groups, in which they were each hosted by a number of ECO-schools, part of Earthna, a Qatar Foundation entity. They teams received a rapturous welcome from pupils who couldn’t wait to invite them into their schools to share sustainability initiatives, cultural performances and stories.

During the afternoon, teams were treated to a bus tour of some of Doha’s stunning sights. A hum of intrigue filled the buses, as players and volunteers alike got to witness the best of this fascinating city. Teams assembled outside the Museum of Islamic Art, enjoying the stunning views of the towering skyline on the other side of the water. Many of Doha’s skyscrapers are adorned with pictures of players due to take part in the FIFA World Cup next month, a reminder of how the Street Child World Cup really does act as the close prelude to the biggest tournament on earth.

For the Street Child World Cup, the action begins tomorrow, but for now teams headed off back to their accommodation to rest up ahead of their first fixture, and there was a further special event in store.

The Ritz-Carlton hotel provided the beautiful surroundings as the British Embassy hosted an evening reception for all teams, staff, volunteers and invited guests. Hundreds of people chatted excitedly, swapping tales from the day, before indulging in a magnificent world buffet.

Ambassadors and their representatives from participating countries were present in the hotel’s Al Wosail ballroom, with British ambassador to Qatar, Jonathan Wilks CMG, addressing the audience.

“We’re really glad that you’re here. This is for us the biggest thing we’re hosting before the World Cup, and it’s been the most inspiring thing we’ve done. That’s because of you – you are the stars of today but also the stars of the future.”

After high-octane dance performances from Tanzania and Brazil girls started proceedings, team England – from the Beatles’ home city of Liverpool – united the entire audience in a moment which will live long in the memory.

On what would have been John Lennon’s birthday, they asked all team captains to join them on stage and pledge commitment to the values of fair play, equality and climate change, to the soundtrack of Lennon’s ‘Imagine’.

John Wroe made a closing speech afterwards, reminding the crowd of the words of David Beckham when he met the young leaders just a a week ago. The message was that, while it’s been a difficult few years for the world, the young people he met have him hope. A better endorsement of the power of the Street Child World Cup you’ll struggle to find.

The presentations ended with a slideshow of photos from the event so far. The scenes projected onto the screen were met with raucous cheers from the relevant sections of the crowd. The party has started, and there’s plenty more to come