Page 10 - FIS World October 2018
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Field of Dreams
A professional soccer tournament at FIS yields experiences of a lifetime
Head of School Paul Fochtman at the U15 Tournament award ceremony
Only days before the 2018/2019 academic year began at FIS, the school threw open its doors to more than 1,000 visitors from across Europe for
the most important boys-youth Soccer tournament ever held in the Taunus: The Allianz U15 Cup Against Racism. Eighteen teams comprised of young players with the skills and ambition to possibly become the next Messi or Neymar played 89 matches over two days on the FIS campus and nearby SC Oberursel Eintracht field. It was an unprecedented event that created lasting memories for the young athletes and their families.
“The U15 Cup was an experience of a lifetime,” said Benjamin, a Grade 10 student and member of the Boys Junior Varsity Soccer team at FIS. “It was a dream come true.”
Benjamin’s "dream come true" actually began as the dream of three soccer dads from the local SC Oberursel Eintracht club team – Stephan Haida, Tobias Müller and Karsten Trompetter. In June 2017, the team traveled to Trier, Germany to compete in a European-wide professional youth soccer tournament. Legend has it that the three soccer dads were unwinding after watching their sons play when Mr. Haida suggested that they, too, could host a professional-level soccer tournament in Oberursel.
While many would have reasonably assumed Mr. Haida was dreaming at that moment, his two friends were immediately sold. They recruited three more SC Oberursel Eintracht dads and
friends to the team: Kai Kottwitz, Olaf Kallinich and Ralf Kissau, and each had his own position to play. The team roster and positions were: Haida
- Organization, Müller - Sports Management, Trompetter - Sponsorship, Kallinich - Logistics, Kissau - Communications, and Kottwitz - Finance.
In addition to his financial expertise, Kai Kottwitz had something more to offer – a connection to FIS. As an alumnus from the Class of 1988, former player on the Boys FIS Varsity Soccer Team and current parent at the school, Mr. Kottwitz approached FIS for support. The school enthusiastically agreed.
It was an unprecedented event that created lasting memories for the young athletes and their families.
With FIS on board, the team looked good, but not complete. While there was enthusiasm, the event was non-profit and all profits were committed to be donated. That’s when additional volunteers jumped in. Annette Schlosser, who provides bus services at FIS, donated her services to provide local transportation to all teams; and Liane Terhorst, the mother of an SC Eintracht Oberursel player, joined the team to recruit and manage the eventual 200+ volunteers.
Between August 2017 and August 2018 there was much to be done. The group of eight core volunteers enlisted the help of a professional sports manager, Gerald Prell, to sign teams to
the tournament. By August 2018,15 professional teams from seven European countries, plus SC Oberursel Eintracht, FIS and FV Stierstadt – which was added in the 11th hour when the Tottenham Hotspurs missed the last flight out of London – had agreed to play.
Mr. Kottwitz’s son, a Grade 10 student at FIS and former Captain of SC Oberursel Eintracht, was named Captain of the FIS team. For him it was
a dream come true. “It felt like I was playing for a professional team,” he said. “I was the captain of a football team playing against FC Chelsea!”
The eighteen participating teams played over the weekend in extraordinarily beautiful weather, and the FIS team exceeded expectations. Co-Head Coach of the FIS team, Hans Henchen, said: “I can’t
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