Delighted with Norway Cup
After determined efforts the Hydro-supported teams Alunorte Rainforest from Brazil and Slovalco from Slovakia are now out of the Norway Cup, the world's largest youth football tournament.
"We're delighted with the stay and that we were among the 32 best teams in our class," says Jorge Lima, who is responsible for the Alunorte plant's social programme for youths in Barcarena in Brasil.
Hydro has supported Norway Cup youth teams for many years in the neighbourhoods of the aluminium plants in Brazil, Slovakia and Jamaica. As last year, the teams taking part and being sponsored by Hydro are the Rainforest team from the Alunorte aluminium plant in Brazil, and Slovalco from the Slovakian aluminium works with the same name.
Alunorte Rainforest won their last heat in the introductory group round and advanced to the 1/16 final on Thursday, where they lost to the Norwegian team Skeid. Slovalco also won their class, but exited from the tournament after the 1/32 final.
"For our players the most important thing is gaining experiences from another culture," says Lima.
He says that four of the players who have previously played in the Norway Cup for Alunorte are now employed at the alumina works.
"In our social setup we concentrate on sport, education and good behaviour. The experience from the Norway Cup will be important to the players when they get home to Barcarena, where they will be role models for other youths," says Lima.
The Yara-sponsored teams Potch from South Africa and Atrevidos from Brazil are also following Hydro Aluminium's social programme during the tournament in Oslo. On Thursday the Atrevidos team progressed to the 1/8 final in their round, which they lost 1-0 to Ullensaker/Kisa.
During their stay in Norway, the teams have taken part in a social programme run by Hydro Aluminium vice president Jon Arild Larsen and his colleagues from the local Tyrving sports club. On behalf of Hydro, they are making sure that the young people enjoy a memorable week, both socially and on the football field.
Besides participating in the tournament, the players have visited the Norwegian football museum at Ullevaal Stadium, the national ski jumping center at Holmenkollen and such renowned Oslo sights as Frognerparken and Bygdøy, as well as the Tusenfryd amusement park. In addition, they attended the Golden League athletics meeting at the new Bislett Stadium in Oslo last Friday.
This weekend all the football players will go to Lillehammer, where they will take part in exciting activities before returning home after their determined efforts in the Norway Cup.