Celebrating Soccer at the III Kukkonia League Sports Day at the MOL Academy

Celebrating Soccer at the III Kukkonia League Sports Day at the MOL Academy

| wed 15.5.2024, FAA, Ugroczky

Nearly 3,000 people gathered on May 8th at the MOL Academy to celebrate their love for soccer, enjoy matches in the U9, U11, and U13 age groups, and enjoy each other’s company at the III Kukkonia League Sports Day.

On May 8th, undoubtedly the largest community event in Dunaszerdahely took place at the MOL Academy. The fully packed parking lots indicated a significant event happening at the DAC training center. A total of 54 teams, divided into five age groups, participated in the soccer tournament, which provided not only a sports experience but also a true community experience for the young soccer enthusiasts and their accompanying parents.

The success of last year’s second Kukkonia League Sports Day left no doubt that the organizers would again invite youth teams from the Dunaszerdahely district for a large-scale tournament. They came eagerly, as it is not every day they get to indulge in their favorite pastime, soccer, on the excellently prepared fields of the MOL Academy. A total of 30 towns were represented in the tournament, with the number of players, including team leaders, exceeding 750.

The sports day began with the collective singing of the DAC club anthem, "Nélküled," performed by Sophie Bittera. The official opening was attended by Tibor Végh, president of DAC 1904 Football Club, Árpád Benovič, president of the Dunaszerdahely Regional Football Association, vice president of the West Slovakian Football Association, Dr. Zoltán Puha, deputy mayor of Dunaszerdahely, Tímea Dóka, president of the Kukkonia Civic Association, Krisztián Németh, director of the DAC Academy, and Tibor Ravasz, youth development leader of the DAC Academy.

The U9 age group was represented by 14 teams, the U11 age group by 17 teams, while the oldest, the U13s, came in 12 teams, making the sports day an all-day program for visitors. This year, teams from DAC and ETO Academy participated in the U9, U10, and U11 age groups, as well as U7 teams from towns participating in the Kukkonia League.

The official opening of the III Kukkonia League Sports Day started at 8:15 AM, followed by the commencement of matches. The games were characterized by excitement, tight battles, but most importantly, plenty of smiles, carefree joy, and a family atmosphere. There were also plenty of accompanying programs.

Early in the morning, stoves in the show kitchen were fired up to ensure no one went home with an empty stomach after the all-day event. Children who needed more activity than the soccer field provided could expend their excess energy in the bounce house and try other skill games, including sponge handball with Andrea Csölle and the HC DAC U11 youth team. The Nemeshodos Fight Club Holus students presented a karate demonstration, and in the afternoon, the Dunaszerdahely Gaál Westring Team wrestlers demonstrated wrestling to the interested audience. Participants also had the opportunity to take a photo with the UEFA Grassroots Awards trophy at the photo wall.

Many children lined up at Vovoland’s face painters, and Dóri Sóki created beautiful hair braids for the girls. Before lunch, DAC 1904 players arrived at the event, surrounded by a huge crowd. After autograph sessions and conversations, the day continued with placement matches, as it was, after all, a soccer tournament where winners had to be announced in each age group and category.

In the U9 age group, Jányok won, followed by Egyházgelle in second and Kisudvarnok in third. In the U11 age group, Nyékvárkony came out on top, with Nagypaka in second and Kisudvarnok in third. Among the oldest, in the U13 age group, Nagymagyar stood on the top podium, ahead of Nyárasd in second and Kisudvarnok in third. At the end of the day, the best scorers, goalkeepers, and the best players of the tournament in each age group were specially awarded, and an all-stars team was announced. Players selected for the all-stars team can participate in the Mega Tournament Senec at the end of June. After the elevated moments, this year’s UEFA Grassroots Awards medals were placed around the children’s necks by a DAC player and the coach. The teams that finished on the podium received their well-deserved trophies.

Tímea Dóka, the event organizer, stated, “This sports day is special, as we are celebrating a shared success today because with the Kukkonia League initiative, DAC 1904 won the UEFA Grassroots Awards in April. This success is a great example of how we can achieve great things through cooperation and perseverance and that it is worth dreaming big and working towards our goals.”

“We were eagerly awaiting to see the performance of the local talents once again. They did not disappoint this year either, with very high-quality matches. Many talented youngsters showcased their skills, and well-prepared teams took to the fields, for which the preparatory coaches deserve great thanks and praise. During the tournament and the closing ceremony, we witnessed emotional scenes, tears of joy, and celebrations that only the love of sport and soccer can evoke! These are the moments for which this project was created, and these are the moments that prove its legitimacy. At the end of the tournament, we wanted to symbolize to each player and coach with a medal that the success achieved at UEFA is largely due to their merit because, as our slogan says, ‘Everyone wins if everyone plays!’” added Tibor Ravasz, youth development leader of the academy.

The III Kukkonia League Sports Day was organized by the Kukkonia Civic Association, the Dunaszerdahely DAC Academy, and the Dunaszerdahely Regional Football Association. The event was supported by the West Slovakian Football Association, Aquadrift, Innopharma, and the Schindler company. The sports event was realized with co-financing from the EU within the framework of the Interreg Hungary-Slovakia Cooperation Program Small Project Fund.