A day to remember for kids in Jordan as Xavi visits Generation Amazing pitch
When Xavi Hernandez walked out onto the Generation Amazing pitch at Al Baqa'a refugee camp in Jordan, he made an instant impact on the lives of the kids who passed the ball to him in football drills and a mini-football game. The former FC Barcelona and Spain captain greeted the youngsters one by one with a handshake and smile, and had words of encouragement and advice for each one of them as he directed a training session at the pitch constructed by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) programme.
"The warmth and energy from everyone was amazing," Xavi told www.sc.qa on his first impressions from Inspiration Hall. "This visit was about the boys and girls and the people of this camp. It was a pleasure to be here and do what I can to help."
Less than 24 hours after he was announced as an official Generation Amazing ambassador, the Al Sadd midfielder and FIFA World Cup™ winner travelled to Amman, accompanied by SC Secretary General, H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, SC Assistant Secretary General Nasser Al Khater and Khalid Al Kubaisi, Chief of the Advisory Unit and Special Projects.
Xavi received an incredible reception from the local community unable to contain their excitement at the visit of one of the world's most successful and recognisable footballers. From the moment he arrived at Al Baqa'a camp, the local population battled for selfies and the chance to get close to their hero.
The sight of Xavi high-fiving the players and joining in the Generation Amazing football drills was an iconic moment for a programme designed specifically to change the lives of youngsters through the power of football.
He added: "Generation Amazing is a fantastic initiative to help improve the lives of those who most need it, through the power of football. I am here to help you with anything you need, because I think it is very important in life to help if you have the opportunity to do so."
One of the highlights of the session was a special question and answer session Hadeel Al-Thamane – one of the 2014 Generation Ambassadors – conducted with the Spanish superstar.
When asked about who the best player he had ever played with was, Xavi received a round of applause by responsing: "For me, it is Messi. He is the best."
Looking back on his hour-long session with the kids, the legendary midfielder said: "It was an honour for me to share a pitch with the kids, to hear about their lives, to share some of my experiences and to play football with them. This programme is more than just one day, just one football session, because it continues and they have put this fantastic facility here for the community. You can really feel what it means for these kids to be involved."
SC Secretary General, H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi also participated in the session with the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ winner, and highlighted the importance of the programme in order to leave a lasting regional legacy for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™.
"We saw today once more how important this programme has become in inspiring new generations across our region and changing their lives through football. To play a game of football with Xavi, and meet a world football legend in person, will help these youngsters understand what they too can achieve. I hope the kids here today take inspiration from the passion and commitment Xavi has for this programme and for them."
The training session at Inspiration Hall was the first of a number of activities which Xavi will be conducting with Generation Amazing ambassadors and other kids in Jordan on a two-day visit.
"The fantastic reactions we have seen so far on the ground here in Jordan show how important Xavi will be for the programme going forward," Al Thawadi concluded. "He has won everything there is to win in football, and yet remains completely humble and has never forgotten what football in its purest form represents. It's about bringing people together and trying to make a difference for the better in their lives. I hope the people from Al Baqa'a always remember today's experience, and take inspiration from the passion and commitment both Xavi and Generation Amazing have for them."
Generation Amazing is the SC's flagship programme that uses the opportunity of Qatar hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™ and the power of football as a catalyst for social change to educate and empower the next generation in Qatar and across the world. Outside Qatar, the programme has been operational in Pakistan and Jordan with Right To Play. In Nepal, it is managed by Right To Play and delivered by Mercy Corps.
The programme is delivered through three primary initiatives: Inclusive Generation, Healthy Generation and Green Generation designed to address the priority issues of vulnerability, health & well-being and environmental sustainability, thus enabling a positive and sustainable generational change through football.