(KZN.RU, March 6, Alina Berezhnaya). Today, a football lesson took place in the school №110 of the Sovetsky district with the participation of famous athletes. Alexey Smertin, the ex-captain of the Russian national team, the champion of England as part of Chelsea, the director of the RFU for regional politics and international relations, Peter Odemwingie, the ex-player of Lokomotiv, West Bromwich Albion, Stoke City and the national team of Nigeria, and Dmitry Sennikov, the two-time Russian champion in the Lokomotiv team, an ex-defender of the Russian team, became teacher for a few hours. Also, Elmira Kalimullina, an Honored Artist of the RT, the 2018 World Cup ambassador in football, took part in the meeting with Kazan schoolchildren.
The football stars and elementary school students met on the field in the gym of the school. For 45 minutes, the athletes taught schoolchildren how to run, stuff, and serve the ball. “I am very happy to meet with these football players. I love to play football in the yard in the summer. After today's master class, I will win every time”, Ayaz Sadykov, a student of the first grade, shared his impressions of the game.
After the training match, the lesson continued in the question-answer format in the assembly hall of the school. Most students were interested in the secret of famous footballers’ success. There were questions about injuries, defeats, and life after football.
“I got a serious spinal injury, so I had to quit football. Yes, I had an operation, but it was hard to return to the sport. Besides, age played a big role, at that time I was 34 years old, and this is already a lot for a football player. But I am happy, I do not regret about a thing. My football career was bright and colorful. Yes, there were defeats, but there were victories as well”, said Dmitry Sennikov.
The football lesson was held as part of the FIFA World Cup 2018 heritage conservation project. Such lessons have already taken place at schools in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Izhevsk. The athletes plan to teach schoolchildren of Krasnodar and Sochi to play football.
“Our main task is to preserve the legacy of football. With such lessons, we support schoolchildren’s interest in football. We see that there is feedback from children. They are interested, they communicate with us, this is the most important thing”, marked Alexey Smertin.
“If 10 years later, one of these children to us comes and says that he professionally became interested in football after our meeting, this would be the main victory for us”, said Peter Odemwingie.