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SATUC hosts major Egyptian Trials in Cairo

On the 1st of April 2015, in what was a unique and wonderful event for the whole of Egypt and Egyptian football, SATUC hosted their Egyptian trials at the Indoor Hall of Nasr City Club in Cairo. SATUC has been working in close collaboration with the Ministry of Social Solidarity to select the most talented footballers from all around the country to go on and represent Egypt and the inaugural 2015 SATUC Cup held in Cairo in August.

SATUC founder, 15-year-old Princess Sheikha Al Thani, whose dream the SATUC Cup was and whose hard work has turned this incredible vision into a reality, flew out from London, especially for the event despite her pressing academic commitments and cheered on the competitors as they competed to represent Egypt at this global tournament.

SATUC’s Head Director held a successful meeting with the Minister of Social Solidarity, Ms. Ghada Waly, who expressed how excited she was by the project and how she was looking forward to helping support all the children involved. This level of institutional support for the 2015 SATUC Cup is a real endorsement of the charity’s long-term goals of empowering underprivileged children to overcome the hurdles they face in life.

In total 123 boys attended the trials, consisting of orphans and other disadvantaged children from 20 different Egyptian provinces, as well as the 15 members of the SATUC Aswan Football Club, who had come through a previous round of competitive trials under the guidance of Tournament Ambassadors Shikabala and Nader El Sayed. The boys have all experienced incredibly difficult lives; many of the players have grown up in broken homes whilst others have already endured great poverty during their childhoods.

As it was the largest football trial for underprivileged children that has ever taken place, the competition was intense for a coveted place in the team. Despite the prize at stake, the trials were contested in good spirit with plenty of teamwork, camaraderie, and respect for one’s opponent on display.
The selection process was rigorous and after much deliberation and many hard decisions, the official selectors reduced the field to a mere 8 boys who will represent Egypt at the 2015 SATUC Cup.

Reflecting the significant levels of public interest, the trials were covered by a long list of international media outlets including Dream 2, Alahley, Ten, Alshahed Kuwait, MBC, LTC, Delta Channel, Al-Nahar Sports TV, Alhayah 2, Alhourah, Al-Araby TV, Al Youm 7, with further journalists from Al-Ahram and Al Youm 7 also attending the trials. SATUC would like to thank them for their interest in the project and for the role they play in raising the profile of the 2015 SATUC Cup around the world.
In particular, special thanks must go to all our Tournament Ambassadors and volunteers for their help in hosting such a unique event. Among them was a long-standing friend of SATUC and 2015 SATUC Cup Ambassador Nader El Sayed who joined the SATUC team for the second time in 2 weeks, having recently been in London as a Guest of Honour to attend the official launch of the 2015 SATUC Cup at the Arab British Chamber of Commerce. The fact that so many eminent figures took time out of their busy schedules to support these trials, including 2015 SATUC Cup Honorary President Ahmed Hassan and new Tournament Ambassador Shawky Gharib, the former Egypt player and national team coach, is testament to what fantastic project this is and to the amazing work and dedication of SATUC’s founder, Sheikha Al-Thani.

These trials were more than just a means of selecting talent, but an opportunity for every single participant to receive food, water, and medical attention. SATUC strongly believes in the power of football as a means of social development and these trials were just another method by which SATUC could provide aid and opportunities to children in desperate need of support.

We congratulate all the participants on the level of skill, effort, and teamwork they displayed. Each game was marked by a strong sense of fair play and mutual respect and we commend their boys for showing such maturity and good-will to each other throughout. SATUC and SATUC’s friends gave these children the platform to show their potential and they did not let us down – though many will regrettably go home disappointed not to have made the final eight, they did themselves and SATUC proudly and we are sure a bright future lies ahead of them all.
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