Thanks to our Foundation’s efforts, an unusual guest has visited primary school in Hołubla. Damian Gawrych called Ryh, a three-time Champion of Poland in Panna, second-prize winner in Skills Battle in Antwerp and a third-prize winner in World Championship 2015 in Liberec. Damian is also the founder of the Alternative Soccer, a website and an online-shop as well as initiator of Freestival, Street Football World Championship. Last year Street Games were held in Grodzisk Mazowiecki, Poland. It was the first time when this kind of games of a global reach have taken place in Poland.
Damian has taken first steps in football in Jaktorów, his hometown situated near to Grodzisk Mazowiecki. He was an energetic and a sweet kid with head full of new ideas. He used to built with his friends make-shift goals made of tree branches and mark an area to be used as a football pitch by a wooden stick. This is exactly when the fun started. The energy, speed, agility were paired with precision, regularity and growing technical skills. This is how passion that keeps Damian going has ignited. Our guest willingly promotes “panna” among children and youth. He not only encourages them to exercise but also to study regularly as this is an activity which forms a sense of duty and concentration, qualities that are indispensable in football. It was no different this time. Damian has carried us away by his inspiring story of his life and its exceptional part, which is panna. But… What is panna?
It is a sport does hardly resembles football. There are two or four players that take part in the game. One on one is the most common version of the game. A “fight” lasts no longer than 3 minutes. A player who manages to pass the ball between the opponent’s legs (action which is called “panna”) is the winner. A player needs not only to rely on himself but also on his ability to concentrate and stay calm as these qualities are equally important as dexterity and speed. Every kind of sport wonderfully develops fitness but in the case of street games it also gives an opportunity to use one’s head. Getting to understand an opponent’s strategy and coming up with a plan to defeat it may be a challenge, even for well-experienced panna players.
After having shared his remarkable story of passion and work, Damian challenged to a panna duel couple of students and a physical education teacher, Mr. Maciej Tomaszewski. One has to admit that Hołubia school representation played very well.
If you wish to learn more about Ryhu and his projects visit: alternativesoccer.pl and freestival.pl. You may find him on Facebook: Alternative Soccer, Street Games as well as Ryh Panna Footballer. Damian supports many charitable initiatives (i.a. purchase of balls from children in Gambia). He also has his own YouTube channel: Daniel Gawrych. We invite all of you to check it out. At the same time we would like to thank Ryhu for a passionate meeting and wish him success on streets of the world. See you on at the games!