What do the former member of the Austrian national football team, Gilbert Prilasnig, and SEKEMs CEO Helmy Abouleish have in common? A charity football match! SEKEM Friends Association Austria hosted a football match with a total of five intercultural teams for a good cause in the Austrian Graz yesterday. All proceeds will be donated to SEKEMs sporting activities.
“Due to migration and refugees movements, we are living in times when there is much talk about how we can tackle these present issues. But one only needs to take a look at SEKEM”, Gilbert Prilasnig says. “For many years now, SEKEM has been transforming the deadly Egyptian desert into fertile land and is giving so many people in the region a meaningful life as well as a financial base at the same time”, he continues.
The defender Prilasnig played for the Austrian national team from 1997 to 2001. He celebrated his greatest successes with the football club Sturm Graz – for example, when the team won the Austrian Championship two times and the Austrian Cup three times, as well as when his team took part in the UEFA Champions League thrice.
When football is more than just football
Under the honorary protection of Siegfried Nagl, the Mayor of Graz city, the charity event took place in Sportunion Steiermark’s stadium. Five teams competed against each other – including a VIP team with Gilbert Prilasnig and Helmy Abouleish among others. There was also an intercultural team of the Gemma association, which is a cooperation partner of SEKEM Austria‘s international class, as well as a friends team with pupils of the International Refugee Class and the Freie Waldorf School Graz. Also an intercultural team of the association Mensch sein. and a team from SOS Children’s Villages took part in the tournament. The intercultural aspect was particularly important to the organizers when they selected and composed the teams.
“Like almost everywhere in the world, football also plays an important role for people in SEKEM“, knows Prilasnig. “Promoting sports for girls amidst the Arab society is an innovation that deserves every kind of support,” the footballer continues. SEKEM regularly offers various sporting events and competitions for both girls and boys.
For the SEKEM School, the SEKEM Group and the Heliopolis University (HU) sports are natural components of the holistic education approach. Hence, the HU organized a sports day and offered handball, football, volleyball and various team sports on a regular basis. For SEKEM, sport is important to maintain a healthy life and physical balance.