Doha, 20 August 2017. A talented young Sri Lankan footballer will spend a week training at Aspire Academy’s world-class football facilities after winning a much-coveted Good Sportsmanship Award during the recent Allianz Junior Football Camp (AJFC) Asia 2017.
The Good Sportsmanship Award, which reflects one of Aspire Academy’s core values, is the result of an agreement reached between Aspire Academy and Allianz to provide one participant from the camp with the chance to experience one of the most highly regarded football training programmes in the world.
The winner, Jehan Joseph Crishantha Atapattu received the award after embodying the principles of good sportsmanship both on and off the field during the recent AJFC Asia 2017 camp which took place in Bali, Indonesia. He was one of 49 teenagers from eight different countries (China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Thailand) who took part.
A jury consisting of former FC Bayern Munich footballers Giovane Elber and Klaus Augenthaler along with a representative from Allianz selected Atapattu as the player who they felt displayed the most exemplary sportsmanlike behaviour during the camp.
Commenting on his award, the young footballer said: “I am very happy to have been given this once in a lifetime opportunity to go to Aspire Academy to train. It was the best time of my life, training with the coaches in Bali and I learnt a lot both in terms of specific football skills and how to develop a winning mindset and attitude. I'm very excited to go to Aspire Academy and to train with the Brazilian and FC Bayern legend, Giovane Elber. He has been an amazing coach throughout our time in Bali and I look forward to continue learning from him at Aspire Academy. I want to thank Allianz and Aspire Academy for offering this opportunity to train in the same place and using the same facilities as the likes of Real Madrid, FC Bayern Munich and many other top quality teams.”
Brazilian and FC Bayern legend, Giovane Elber said: “Living the principles of sporting behavior can truly make a difference on and off the pitch. It was inspiring to see Jehan’s passion and joy about the game and how his respectful attitude had a positive impact to his teammates.”
Mr. Markus Egger, Director of Sports at Aspire Academy, said: “We congratulate Jehan on winning the Good Sportsmanship Award and we are looking forward to welcoming him to Aspire Academy. During his week at the Academy he will have the opportunity to join the training sessions of one of our football teams, he will undergo football performance testing and will have the chance to discuss possible areas of improvement with our top coaches. Besides that, he will have time to explore Doha and get to know Qatari culture better.”
Eike Buergel, Head of Brand Management for Asia, Allianz, also commented on Jehan’s sportsmanship saying: “Jehan exhibited truly excellent sportsmanship during the Allianz Junior Football Camp 2017 in Asia and this once in a lifetime opportunity to train with Aspire Academy exemplifies Allianz’s commitment to nurturing the next generation of Asia’s footballing talent and bringing them one step closer to fulfilling their dreams.”
This is the first time the scholarship has been awarded to an AJFC participant and Atapattu will get to experience Aspire Academy for a week between October 2017 and January 2018.