NowWePanna! Inaugural NowWeMOVE European Panna Tour under way
The very first European Panna Tour kicked off in Denmark last Friday and is now making its way through another eight European countries this week, including Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and its final destination, Hungary, on 2 June.
The NowWeMOVE campaign introduced the European Panna Tour to its calendar this year to showcase one of the most exciting new street football activities in city squares across Europe. The aim of the event is to demonstrate an easy and attractive way for young people to get involved in grassroots sport and physical activity, and to give them an opportunity to practice their tricks alongside the experts in workshops and interactive shows. At the same time, the Panna Tour will promote the upcoming MOVE Week.
The panna team of experts travelling 3000km around Europe for the Tour is comprised of four semi-professional players from Denmark: Kristoffer Licht, Amine Benmoumou, Suell Osmani (the co-founders of Copenhagen Panna House, a Danish street football community) and Soheil Haghani Moshkeleh.
Osmani (pictured above) entertained the crowd and participants in Copenhagen with running commentary and some tricks of his own on Friday. He said after the event that he is embracing the opportunity to spread the word about panna, NowWeMOVE and Copenhagen Panna House:
“From Copenhagen Panna House’s side it was a really nice day – we had a lot of kids participating, a lot of fun and we supported the NowWeMOVE campaign. Everybody moved. They were happy to challenge us and show their skills to the audience. We noticed a lot of people coming to the panna pitch because they saw that we were having fun with good music and children in orange NowWeMOVE T-shirts running everywhere with a smile on their face. So we are just looking forward to start the European Panna Tour, to make some panna, because NowWePanna!”
Since Friday, the panna players have stopped in Ljubljana (Slovenia), Zagreb (Croatia) and Kumanovo (FYR of Macedonia) and will now visit Thessaloniki (Greece) on 28 May, Plovdiv (Bulgaria) on 29-30 May, Pitesti (Romania) on 31 May and Budapest (Hungary) on 2 June. The “grand finale” in Budapest will feature some of the stars of Hungarian football and women’s European freestyle football champion Kitti Szasz in a showdown with the NowWeMOVE panna team.
NowWeMOVE Panna Tour coordinator Nenad Borkovic followed the Tour to Zagreb and saw its positive impact continuing:
“I think that European Panna Tour is fulfilling its purpose,” he said.
“Changes can be seen on children’s faces: they smile, they are having fun and most of all, they MOVE! All appreciation to Copenhagen Panna House and the local partners – they have shown what moving Europe towards the NowWeMOVE vision can look like. I am grateful from the bottom of my heart for all the efforts they are making!”
Follow the action and see more photos from the event on the official European Panna Tour website
Check out the video from Copenhagen here
The European Panna Tour is part of the NowWeMOVE campaign, supporting the European Week of Sport - #BeActive. It has been organised in collaboration with DGI, the second largest sports organisation in Denmark.
Panna, also called nutmeg, is a specific technique of football in which a player rolls or throws the ball between an opponent’s legs or feet. This can be done in order to pass to another player, to shoot on goal, or to carry on and retrieve it. Panna is a street football that is quite often used as a demonstrative initiative as it combines football aerobics, rhythmic gymnastics, fun and entertainment into one show. A game can be won on points according to the number of goals or with a “panna”, which ends the game. Panna is innovative and it is easy for people of all fitness levels and from a variety of communities to join in.
By Rachel Payne
Photos and video: Jana Stehliková