Posted: Thu 8th Dec 2022

Wrexham pupils join “Goal 22” World Cup programme with trip to Qatar for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Dec 8th, 2022

Leading up to the start of the World Cup in Qatar, two sixth form students a teacher at Ysgol Morgan Llwyd were given the opportunity to be a part of a year-long programme named “Goal 22”

FIFA have been criticised by Amnesty International for holding the competition in Qatar who say, “Migrants building a state-of-the-art stadium for the 2022 football World Cup in Qatar are abused and exploited – while FIFA makes huge profits” – more here on the ‘Qatar world cup of shame’.

However the ‘Goal 22’ programme has been set up by Qatar as part of their bid for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and is “the first-ever international school exchange programme alongside the FIFA World Cup”.

Nicole Samson and Iwan Phillips, two students of Ysgol Morgan Llwyd Sixth Form, were chosen to represent Ysgol Morgan Llwyd, Wrexham and Wales in the programme. Nicole is a footballer for TNS and works in the Wrexham AFC club shop. Iwan Phillips is a local footballer and referee.

The programme is split into three phases. The first phase introduces foundations and principles of sport for development. In the second phase the school groups travelled to Doha to attend the Generation Amazing Youth Festival which allows students to take part in a wide range of educational and cultural activities. In phase three, the school say they will “now need to take our learning to the wider communities”.

Below, Nicole discusses her experiences of phase two, where she was given the opportunity with Iwan and Josh to travel to Doha to take part in the Generation Amazing Youth Festival.

Firstly, I want to thank Shaun Harvey for giving me this opportunity – I will never forget the meeting when I was first asked by Shaun if I’d like to take part in the programme – his opening words to me were, “Do you fancy going to the World Cup?,” I was overwhelmingly baffled! If it weren’t for Shaun, I would never have been able to be a part of such an unbelievable programme that Generation Amazing had established.

Therefore, I would also like to say a massive thank you to Michael Richardson, Jonathan Miseroy and Nasser Al-Khori for arranging such an amazing and powerful Youth Festival – an experience which was life changing for me.

What I loved most was being able to meet so many different people from different countries and backgrounds – the ‘cultural ceremony’ that all participants attended during the Youth Festival gave everyone the opportunity to express their countries uniqueness. Strangers turned into good friendships. People were having fun and enjoying themselves and you could clearly see the togetherness of everyone in attendance during the night of the Cultural Ceremony. It was so amazing and insightful to see different cultures and traditions. Again, I appreciate the opportunity given to me to experience this.

During the Youth Festival, students took part in workshops. The workshops arranged were so informative, engaging and eye opening. The aim is to “pass on” (a slogan used by Generation Amazing throughout the festival) what we learn in the workshops to pupils in our schools and to our community. I particularly enjoyed the workshop delivered by Shaun Harvey on ‘Leadership and Stakeholder Management’ as it gave me a huge insight into the future and what skills and attribute’s I need to become a successful woman in business. The most unforgettable experience I had in Qatar would be training with the Cymru squad. Never in my life did I ever think that I’d be given the opportunity to play football with the team that made us all dream again by qualifying for the World Cup, it was an absolute privilege and a night I will remember for the rest of my life!

Arguably, the most important part of the Goal 22 program is yet to be completed. We will soon be taking the steps for the third part of the program which focuses on the community engagement section.

We look forward to putting our knowledge into effect during this phase of the program and we cannot wait to try and help make a significant difference in the community of Wrexham and eventually to Wales with the help of Generation Amazing and Wrexham AFC.

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