Younited Beerschot en Antwerp Streetboys are friends
The players of Younited Beerschot and Antwerp Streetboys are also looking forward to the Antwerp derby. "But no matter what happens, we will always help each other. Our friendship transcends the derby."
Younited Beerschot and Antwerp Streetboys, are made up out of adult players for whom, due to their circumstances, it is not as easy to join a traditional sports club. Often the players have a background, or a problem which makes it harder for them to participate in our complex society. When they join one of the two football teams, they get free football training sessions and also football clothing. During the last few months they also participated in bowling, cycling tours and other excursions. "Our training sessions are usually separate, but we go on a lot of those trips together with the players of Younited Beerschot. There is no problem there. On the contrary, we are a group of friends", tells Noureddine Kadiri of the Antwerp Streetboys. "Even though I support Antwerp and hope that Antwerp will win on Sunday, for me the most important thing is that through this project we get to do activities and get to know people. I don't really care who you support."
Beerschot invited Noureddine and some players of Younited Beerschot, to come to the Olympic Stadium this week. Younited Beerschot trains every week in the ‘Hobokense’ indoor football hall ‘Garrincha’. "I've had some problems in my life and I've been in crisis care", Guido de Ridder shares with no desire to further elaborate on his past. "And I dare say that Antwerp Streetboys and Younited Beerschot helped me rebuild my life. It's more than just playing football. We can always contact our trainer and our coordinator about our problems. They listen to us and help wherever possible. Also now, in these Covid times, Younited Beerschot provides fun distractions and adapted activities. By the way, our trainer, Mo, has taken a positive test and is sick. We want to wish him a speedy recovery".
Guido is Patricia's husband. She and her brother Christophe also belong to the 'hard core’ of Younited Beerschot. They received a training outfit before, but their eyes sparkle even more now when they are allowed to put on the latest official Beerschot shirt. These are the small and special things that make the players of Younited Beerschot happy. "When I heard that Beerschot was also starting a team, I did not hesitate for a second. I am always involved.", Christophe says excitedly. "I am really proud to be part of the Beerschot family. This project means a lot to me. When I lost my parents, I was even homeless for a while. Nowadays I live in a social home and I have a life again. Younited Beerschot is an important part of that. Together with the people of the Antwerp Streetboys we visit tournaments. We've already been on Beerschot's players' bus together".
Younited Beerschot was one of the first social projects that Beerschot started together with the City of Antwerp. Our club is becoming increasingly active in the neighbourhood work of the Kiel. Soon we will start even more beautiful projects to help underprivileged people and stimulate young people through the Foundation 'United by 13'.
And then there is the derby.
Christophe: "We are going to win!
Nouredinne: “Oep’t gemak ratje.” (Easy there, mister)
Guido: "Hey doggy!"
Patricia laughs, she knows that this is what they do. "This is part of it. This is friendship." This, too, is Antwerp football. This too is the derby.