By now, the FIFA World Cup counts as old news, and even the euphoria in the wake of the German victory has died down.
However, at the InterNations office in Munich, we now have another soccer-related reason to celebrate: The first InterNations World Games series has just finished!
What are the InterNations World Games? – The local soccer tournaments in several InterNations Communities are part of our Volunteer Program.
“Why not give our members a strong sense of purpose in their Local Community?” InterNations founder Malte Zeeck describes the motivation for introducing the Volunteer Program in the first place.
“We can leverage our huge member base to make a difference on a global scale.”
Where and when did the InterNations World Games take place? – Our volunteers organized these fun activities in seven cities around the globe: Dallas, Dubai, Madrid, Moscow, Munich, Vienna, and Zurich.
The kick-off happened in Munich, as early as mid-June, just in time for the grand opening of the “official” World Cup. The finale, so to speak, took place in Moscow last weekend, on July 27.
Why did we come up with this idea? – With the InterNations World Games, we hoped to accomplish three goals that really matter to us:
– We wanted to increase awareness of the InterNations Volunteer Program in general.
– We intended to show a positive example of multicultural team spirit. We didn’t just want to do something for people in need; what’s also very important is to be inclusive and do it with them.
The refugees supported by the Volunteer Program in Munich and Vienna, for example, were invited to form their own teams and join in the competition. The Vienna World Games thus ended in a well-deserved triumph for the Caritas mixed squad from Nigeria and Afghanistan.
– Last but not least, we also planned to raise some funds on behalf of the local NPOs that our various Volunteer Groups cooperate with.
“The World Games activity was perfectly timed. It served as a great platform for promoting our recently formed Volunteer Program in Dallas and the fund-raising efforts underway.” Looks like our three Group Consuls from the Dallas area, Sanjeeb, Shalah, and Doaa, scored a hit with their tournament!
Who benefits from the InterNations World Games? – As mentioned above, every Volunteer Group works together with a local non-profit which they provide with regular and sustainable support.
In the seven World Games cities, the respective NPOs include household names like Caritas or the Red Cross; they aid refugees, orphans, or homeless families, as well as impoverished children or kids with special needs.
On behalf of these people and the entire InterNations team, we’d like to thank everyone who made this victory possible.
A special thank you goes to our local sponsors in Madrid (Schindler Group), Munich (Sat 1 / Club Padel München / Sony Music & Entertainment), and Vienna (Sportanlage KSV Siemens Grossfeld), who provided us with t-shirts for our youngest participants, great prizes for our winners, and the gracious offer of a free venue for the day!
Of course, heartfelt thanks go to our Group Consuls in all the InterNations Communities who got involved, to the volunteers who helped to organize the tournaments and made sure they ran smoothly, and to the over 300 attendees who came to participate, cheer on the players, and have fun for a good cause.
And unlike the FIFA World Cup, the InterNations World Games will hopefully return next year. Here’s to 2015!
You haven’t been there? Just have a look for yourself!
(Image credit: 1) Arun Amirtham 2) InterNations 3) Franz Schnedl; video credit: InterNations)