The ELA Cup

Tournoi ELA (2008)We’ve just come back from the opening ceremony of The ELA Cup organized by our local football team AS Gresivaudan at Pontcharra. The football tournament kicks off tomorrow and has attracted 16 under-13 teams from around the Isere region and further afield. In fact, three of the teams have travelled by bus all they way from Bulgaria – 2000km away!

We first heard about the tournament when AS Gresivaudan’s Thierry Pineau gave us a call after reading about Tri4Joe in the local Isere Magazine. His football club organized a similar event last year with huge success and raised well over 3000 Euros for ELA. Impressive, but perhaps more importantly, due to the nature of the event, they raised awareness of leukodystrophy throughout the region. In fact they received two full pages of coverage in the regional Dauphine Libere newspaper (personally I’m a big fan of this newspaper because it sponsors one of my favorite cycling races – the Criterium Dauphine).

Thierry Pineau at the 2008 tournamentThierry is very keen to grow the tournament over the coming years and is particularly keen to attract teams from all over Europe. To that end, if you are reading this and know of any under-13 teams that may be interested in visiting a beautiful part of France to play in a football tournament in 2010 then please drop me an email (matthew dot swift at gmail dot com) or leave a comment here on the blog.

Thierry and, I imagine, the rest of his fellow club members are clearly very passionate about the event and its cause and have done a superb job organizing it. It never ceases to amaze me how many selfless and fundamentally good people there are out there. It’s days like this that I feel really humbled and it makes me realize how selfish and self-centered I was in my previous life before Joseph.

I’ll report back after the tournament and let you know how it went.

Thank you Thierry and everyone at AS Gresivaudan.

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