March 20 2007
Two football stars visit SOS Children's Village Imst
20/03/2007 - German international Philipp Lahm and Austria's Player of the Year 2006, Steffen Hofmann, delighted children by visiting the SOS Children's Village in Imst, Austria, this week. Both pledged their support for the organisation by becoming FIFA/SOS ambassadors.
Lahm and Hofmann received a guided tour of the children's village and learned about the extraordinary history of the location. In 1949, the organisation's founder Hermann Gmeiner established this first children's village in Imst, which served as a forerunner to the more than 450 SOS Children's Villages in operation around the world today.
Lahm, who plays his club football with FC Bayern Munich and delivered a sensational performance at the 2006 FIFA World CupTM, said: "Today I visited the first and oldest SOS Children's Village. It was amazing. Now I'm looking forward to visiting a children's village in a completely different country."
The two footballers enjoyed a cup of coffee with one of the SOS families before engaging in a football match with the children in the gym of a local school which was named after Hermann Gmeiner. Rapid Vienna midfielder Hofmann said: "One can see that a lot is being done for the children here. I am very impressed."
Lahm and Hofmann were also kept busy by signing autographs and replying to the many questions posed by the children. "It is amazing how the children have found a new family here. My family was always very important for me and I know what means to be a part of a family," said Lahm. The German defender, who was voted to the "UEFA Team of the Year 2006", donated the € 5,000 prize money he earned from this distinction to SOS Children's Villages.
The two footballers also received their official "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages" ambassador certificates and joined an illustrious list of more than 100 football greats serving in this honorary role. Other FIFA/SOS ambassadors include Fabio Cannavaro, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Andriy Shevchenko, Didier Drogba and Wayne Rooney.