FIFA World Cup: Rooting for Diverse Teams - New Canadian Media

FIFA World Cup: Rooting for Diverse Teams

Kicking off today (June 12) in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 32 countries will battle for the prestigious right to call themselves this year’s FIFA World Cup…

Kicking off today (June 12) in Sao Paulo, Brazil, 32 countries will battle for the prestigious right to call themselves this year’s FIFA World Cup football champions!

Personally, I have never really enjoyed playing soccer; I believe I bruised more ankles than scored goals. Despite my own lack of athletic talent, every four years I can’t help but become swept up in the exhilarating support for this global competition here in Toronto.

Who can forget the victorious honking horns in neighbourhoods throughout the Greater Toronto Area at all hours of the night? We are global citizens and this competition is truly breaking down barriers with our mutual love of the game.

Cheers will not only be found on the streets but within our post-secondary institutions. International students across the country will be cheering for this year’s teams. I am lucky to work at Centennial College with over 5,000 International Students from 104 different countries; we are a community full of global citizens who are gearing up to enjoy the games throughout the months of June and July.

In fact, one group of six nursing and eight Early Childhood Education students from Centennial will be experiencing the games from Ghana during a Global Citizenship and Equity Learning Experience (GCELE).  While working on community development initiatives in education and health, Centennial’s group will lead an activity focused on development of children through sport and soccer’s role in global culture . The students will also have the chance to bond with the local community while watching Ghana play USA in their first World Cup Match of 2014.  Stay tuned for Centennial’s next World Cup Blog post from Ghana!

Our students are asking each other “Where will you be cheering?” and “Who will you be cheering for?”

“I will be cheering for Germany in downtown Toronto with my friends. Football to me is the most beautiful game in the world.” (Tomas De Gracia, Panamanian student, Aircraft Maintenance, Centennial College).

“I am going to go to a local bar with some friends, drink some beer and will cheer on Korea. I am a fan of all sports, and can’t wait for the cup to start.” (Wonjoon Lee, Korean student, Digital Animation, Centennial College).

All across our campus, international students are sharing their love of the game with each other, experiencing World Cup in a whole new way:

“Watching the world cup away from my country will be a very intense experience. Because this cup will not be a simple World Cup, the competition will be in my country, the country of soccer… when I was a kid, I used to dream of becoming a professional player. Now half a world away, watching the World Cup without all that energy of Brazilians will be very different… here in Canada I will have the chance to see the rivalry between different nations, different types of fans and how each country expresses his or her love of soccer. Watching every game of the World Cup alongside fans from various countries with all with their cultures, customs and traditions will be incredible. View as Brazilians, Argentinians, Mexicans, Russians, Chinese, Indians, Canadians rooting for their teams and their faces as games are lost or won.” (Marlon Casagranda, Brazilian student, ELL Centennial College).

“Watching the World Cup away from my country will be a very intense experience. Because this cup will not be a simple World Cup, the competition will be in my country, the country of soccer.

For the 2014 FIFA World Cup at Centennial College, we are reaching out to international students across the country. We invite you to join in celebrating the FIFA World Cup by learning to play the game, offering to share your skills and celebrating with others.

We would like you to share with us why you love the game!

How will you share in the excitement of the 2014 FIFA World Cup?


This post is brought to you by iStudentCanada.ca  – a one-stop resource and interactive community of Canada’s international students, in collaboration with Centennial College. Click here for more information on Centennial College study abroad opportunities. As well, click here to find out more about the international educational experience offered at Centennial College.

 Jennifer Cabell works in the International Department at Centennial College and is pursuing certification as a licensed immigration consultant. She has lived in Beijing, studied a second language and has travelled to many different countries.

Recommended Reading: Diversity scores in football (from Maytree Foundation)

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