A short emotional movie brimming with love for football tells the story of the project "Turn the Village Streets into a Stadium" launched by the Romanian Football Federation (FRF) as part of the project "Together We Are Football", aimed at promoting grassroots football.

The project was implemented from September 2015 to April 2016, in 21 Romanian counties, involving the local advisers of the Romanian Football Federation. Over 1,000 students from more than 120 elementary schools participated in the pilot phase of the program.

The hero of the movie is a young football player, Ionel Băzoiu, aged 10, one of the three winners of the program who accompanied the FRF delegation at EURO 2016 in France.

The 4-minute film illustrates Ionel's journey and the obstacles that he overcomes due to his talent and determination. "The Village Street" highlights aspects that many football stars had in common in their childhood: the desire to outdo themselves, the effort to get ahead with both school and the sporting activity, the scarce financial resources of the family, the long hours of training with playmates in the streets of the village. The pace of Ionel's life seems to be set by football. The young player gives up the small pleasures of childhood to buy a football, watches with great interest the matches of his favorite players and practices after classes.

"Turn the Village Streets into a Stadium" is a program developed by FRF for the purpose of discovering new talents among the elementary school students in rural areas. The local advisers of the Romanian Football Federation were provided with an online platform for registering and monitoring young talents at www.impreunasuntemfotbal.ro. The program ended with a competition for the most talented students in the 1st - 4th grades from the 7 football regions of the country. The final match was played in Cluj and a board including Miodrag Belodedici, Ion Vlădoiu and Aurel Țicleanu chose the 3 winners.

Discovered and encouraged by Cristi Lupu, his local adviser, Ionel made it to the finals of the "Turn the Village Streets into a Stadium" contest. Ionel and the other 2 winners watched Romania's match against Switzerland at EURO 2016 on Parc des Princes stadium. He also got registered with the Sports High School in Buzau.

"It is a project that we love very much, a project aimed at discovering talents in rural areas. It is a well-known fact that many of Romania's champions came from rural areas. Unfortunately, the sad truth is that many other talents are wasted because the Romanian government does not offer the conditions required for high performance. Our role is to go back to the roots, to find young talents and to support them for a better future and to make Romania successful”, said Ciprian Paraschiv, Football Development manager with FRF and coordinator of the program "Together We Are Football".

About "Together We Are Football"
Rolled out in September last year, the project "Together We Are Football" is a premiere in the Romanian football and education, as it proposes an active involvement in the healthy growth of the Romanian population through football, the development of the children and youth based on the values of this game and the expanding of the number of football players in Romania. The first 4 programs were launched in 2015: The National School Sports Olympiad - Football and the Olympiad of Secondary Schools - Football, Turn the Village Streets into a Stadium, Unified 7, and the Football Championship of the Universities. The next phase of the program will start in September 2016. More information will be available on the dedicated online platform www.impreunasuntemfotbal.ro.

 

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