After we have wondered about all the superlatives about Gothia Cup 2010, the things that caught my eye this week were about practicality and good housekeeping.
as well as 22,000 goals, hundreds of referees, thousands of meals, lots of rolls of two ply toilet paper, some dodgy fat referees, great weather and nice people organizing it all, there are the sensible things. I spent half an hour in the inner sanctum of Hedden HQ with Dennis Andersson, General Secretary and Lena Rönnefors, the Tournament Director discussing the past and the present.
I had brought the legendary Ron Newman, wife Olive and daughter Tracey with me. Tracey's 13 year old son Chris Wilkinson was guesting for Lillestrom SK from Norway and rooming with Lars Rydje. whose family was hosting him prior to and after the Cup. I was saying that the two things that I gave an A for were not spectacular. The free team uniform washing machines provided by official partner ELON at the Gothia Cup Village were a welcome gift for team managers. Also the number of free taps outside and at other locations providing free cold water to thirsty players and spectators.
Outside. lower than the high flag poles with the flags of competing nations, a giant crane and operator was hanging the team jerseys of hundreds of team that had donated them. There is also a two storey temporary leaders building, with free coffee and comfortable chairs to watch matches in all directions from above and chat and network with other coaches and sponsors. You can also buy drinks and snacks. My favourite was Kopparberg cider and a unique strawberry/lime flavour, although they were the non alcoholic variety, appropriate for a youth tournament.
Below was a room with many lap top computers, free for players, coaches and spectators to keep up with family and friends and get the latest Gothia Cup scores and news. www.gothiacup.com. The huge Intersport tent was very busy selling souvenirs. and outside an interesting presentation featuring Congo-Brazzaville. In cooperation with the Swedish Mission Church there is a project there and in Burkino Faso, with schools and other projects. There were footballs made of plastic bags tied up with string, and little wire bicycles and other toys made from soft drink cans, bottle tops and other junk.