On the ball for a good cause: Tropical Islands hosts the annual Fairplay Soccer Tour

On 26 May 2019 Tropical Islands once again hosted the Brandenburg state final of this year's Sparkassen Fairplay Soccer Tour. Over 170 teams (a new record!) battled against each other to qualify for the national final on the island of Rügen. Tropical Islands has hosted the state final for a number of years. "The Soccer Tour is mainly about bringing young people together and instilling a sense of fair play and mutual respect," said René Tretschok, co-organiser of the event and founding member of Deutsche Soccer Liga.

The Sparkassen Fairplay Soccer Tour has been held in several German states since 2010. "Integration through sport" is one of the tournament's key topics. "People want to be part of a community, regardless of sociodemographic factors. Associations, including sports associations, are a driving force for integration," said former Bundesliga player Tretschok. "Such projects only work with the participation of strong partners. We are therefore very grateful to be able to hold the Brandenburg final here at Tropical Islands."

For many youngsters and youths, the highlight of the day was a ticket to enjoy the Tropical World once the tournament ended. Tropical Islands and Deutsche Soccer Liga struck a deal: all registered participants and one accompanying adult per team were given admission to Tropical Islands plus lunch for just 15 euros.

René Tretschok has been actively promoting young players since 1995. He founded a football school and organised football training camps. When his career as a football player ended in 2003, he became a trainer with Hertha BSC and helped the U19 junior football league team on its triumphant path. Tretschok fostered young and talented players some of whom went on to play in the national football team. "The time came when I had to choose between being a trainer in professional football or continuing my work with the Deutsche Soccer Liga, which up until that point had been on a voluntary basis," the former Hertha BSC trainer recalls. He decided to give up professional sport and focus on social engagement activities. "It was my passion to bring this project forwards. Regional sports associations, schools, and other such organisations are taking a growing interest. In this year alone, we reached more than 20,000 participants who will go on to multiply the values and commitment to fair play that we embody," Treschok explains. In recent years a growing number of girls' teams have also taken part in the tournament, he adds.

The expert has no special tips for players. "Street soccer, which is a four-against -four game, works completely differently. "Our special fair play rules also reward teams that might not necessarily excel in terms of well-trained players but that do excel in terms of fair play," says Tretschok.

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