Jens Nowotny - Sportlicher Botschafter

New date, new processes, new teams and guests, but same ambition and passion like the 39 years before. That is how one could describe the 40th edition of the U-19 tournament in Stemwede in May 2017. Changing the date from Whitsun to Ascension Day was a rather brave decision made by the heads of tournament. I’m even more happy that it turned out to be a good one and made the 40th edition special. Now, we’re facing the football year 2018 and the 41st edition as well as the World-Cup. For sure there will be players at the World-Cup who have collected their first international experience in Stemwede. For those talents the football dream came true.However, from my experience as adviser I know that only a handful of people make it to the top and what kind of challenges these teenagers already face in young years. The balancing act between competitive sports and performance pressure is enormous and especially the risk to fall deep makes the U-19 even harder. Youth time ends, ways of life between long time football colleagues split up and doors into professional football open or close. The U-19 tournament in Stemwede comes at a very formative point for players which makes this tournament an event not to be underrated. Stemwede achieves what lots of top tournaments are missing. The mix between professionalism, humanity and social responsibility. On a sportive base teams and players have the chance to outgrow. On a human base they can grow together as a team. And besides all this in Stemwede they get to know what exemplary social engagement means. The int. U-19 tournament and the int. Lebenshilfe-Cup therefore are exemplary in many ways.

I would like to thank all voluntary helpers, sponsors and supporters who fight for this project year over year and make it what it is: a figurehead for youth football.


Jens Nowotny

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