Sports - a tool for reconciliation

6 Apr 2016

Sports - a tool for reconciliation

International Day of Sport for Developement and peace

Sports - a tool for reconciliation

Pristina, 06 April 2016 - We met with a promising young tennis player: Meldin Mustafi, 16, and his tennis partner, Durim Morina. Both are from Prizren.

Meldin: I am Meldin Mustafi, I am from Lokvice, a place near Prizren, I came here for training with Durim, my partner. I am 16, I have been playing tennis since I was 8. As a child I used to play with plastic rackets. I watched tennis on TV, and later visited a trainer. I loved it and here I am today, still enjoying it.
Meldin is not only enjoying himself but is one of the best tennis players in Kosovo today.
Meldin: In the under-14 category I won 7 to 8 tournaments; in the under 16s, five tournaments, and I expect more trophies this year. I have been training since 2006, as a child I started on other grounds, now I train here. I train here in the Sezaer Surroi Sport Center. With my trainer Jeton Haxhidulaj - I would like to send him my regards - I have several training partners, Muhamed, Durim. There is no difference between me, Albanians, Turks, and Serbs. We play together, we enjoy ourselves. I would like to also send regards to my all friends from Gracanica, Pristina, Prizren and everywhere.
The day we met him, Meldin was in Prizren, playing with his partner Durim Morina. Their common passion is tennis.​

Durim: When I first saw Meldin play, I noticed that he was ambitious, has a strong will and loves tennis. When Meldin first came here, I was at the top

of my form and the reigning champion of Kosovo. It was good for Meldin to see that hard work brings good results. When he started playing tennis and saw me playing, he seemed to think that I was as good as Djokovic! We communicate in Albanian and we understand each other perfectly well. We have no problems. We are all equal in the eyes of God and it doesn’t matter what language we speak. We share the same passion for tennis. I have several favourite tennis players. Tennis has developed tremendously and there is no longer one player that stands out. Now there are several top players, like Djokovic, Wawrinka, Murray and Federer. Djokovic however is my favourite.

Outside of the tennis field, Meldin and Durim are also friends and go for coffee together. For Shkelzen Domi, the President of the Kosovo Tennis Federation, they are a perfect example of how sports can promote reconciliation.
Shkelzen: I believe that we are the best example in Kosovo of how sports can help in reconciliation and forgetting the war and other bitter experiences... As a federation, we insist in all tournaments, that opponents shake hands when the game is over. During tournaments in Gracanica, Albanian kids learn the Serbian language. And during tournaments in Prizren, Gjakova, Peja and Pristina, Serbian kids learn Albanian words, and don’t see themselves as different from the others. The message of the Tennis federation that I always convey in my speech at the opening of tournaments, is that our first task is to create good people, and after that we try to create quality tennis players…​
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