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The opening gala for the football World Cup


An evening with lots of games from different countries all surrounding the football world cup in Germany in 2006 and the possibility for an evangelical message.


This is the first group session to deal with the football world cup. We will celebrate an opening gala just like the real world cup. This obviously has to be prepared. Decorate the room with flags from the different participating nations, posters of stars, footballs and an over-sized game plan with the matches. You can also let videos/ DVDs play with different scenes, make a life-sized team mascot or whatever you like. The aim of this evening is to have fun – this should not be forgotten. For the Christian input, invite a local sportsman who is a Christian and ask him to say something about his motivation. You can also use book “Football God” ( The game comes from lots of different countries.

Game 1: Water banana

Aim: To try to eat a banana which is lying in water.

Length: 5 minutes

Material: Bowls with water, bananas, table

Preparation: Place several bowls filled with water on a table – one bowl per team – and place a peeled banana in each one

Game: Choose a volunteer from each team and explain their task. They must fish a banana out of the water without using their hands, bite a piece off so that the rest of the banana falls back into the water and then do the same again until the banana is eaten. The first to complete the task has won.

GAME 2: Sumo wrestling (Japan)

Length: 10 minutes

Material: Two large pullovers, 8 cushions, two sheets, crepe band

Preparation: Mark out a circle on the ground with the tape

Game: Split the kids into teams. Each team chooses a wrestler. This player is given an over-sized pullover and 4 large cushions to stick inside. Then a sheet is wrapped around the player like a nappy and he is placed in the middle of the circle. On the command the wrestlers must try to push each other out of the ring. Let several players play against each other.

GAME 3: Limbo dancing (South America)

Length: 5 minutes

Material: Brush handles, music

Game: The teams line up behind each other and take turns to limbo under the stick with their backs bent backwards. After each round the stick is lowered. The person who gets closest to the ground without putting their hand down has won.

GAME 4: Pizza game (Italy)

Aim: Introduction game while people are arriving

Length: 5 minutes

Material: Coloured stickers and sweets

Game: When the people arrive they have a blue sticker stuck to their forehead. The colours represent pizza ingredients:
WHITE = Pizza bread RED = Tomato YELLOW = Pineapple BLUE = Ham LILAC = Pepperoni GREEN = Pepper PINK = Salami BLACK = Olive BEIGE = Cheese

Mark double the amount of white points (pizza bread) more than the other colours. Call out a type of pizza (e.g. „Pizza Hawaii") and name the ingredients. The Rockies find the relevant groups and “bake” their pizza by two „pizza breads” lying on the ground and one person with the other ingredient sitting or lying on them (e.g. for „Hawaii" – you will need „pizza bread“, „ham", a piece of „pineapple" and a “cheese”). Give the first group to “bake” their pizza a sweet as a reward. Play several rounds.

Game 5: Former world champions

Length: 5 minutes

Material: Pictures of former world champions ( and crepe band

  • Brazil (5) Pele
  • Germany (3) Olli Kahn
  • Italy (3) Dino Zoff
  • Argentina (2) Diego Maradona
  • Uruguay (2) José Leandro Andrade
  • England (1) Bobby Charlton
  • France (1) Zinedine Zidane

Preparation: Find some pictures of former world champions. Tip: Simply enter the names into and then click on the pictures. Make them as large as possible and stick them onto an A4 piece of paper. Write the names clearly under the photos. Then write the names of the countries on individual pieces of paper.

Game: Make two teams. Each team receives a set of pictures and countries. On the command the teams must stick the names onto the correct country as quickly as possible. If you want to increase the difficulty level then let the players stick the names onto the right place on a map of the world.

GAME 6: Cheese heads (The Netherlands)

Length: 5 minutes

Material: 1 large piece of Gouda per team and a knife

Game: This is not meant to be a serious game: The aim is to be the quickest to cut a face into a piece of Gouda. The team either receives one Gouda as a whole group or each player receives a piece and a knife (be careful!). Everyone must try to cut out a recognisable face with 5 minutes.

Alternative: Find yourself a pair of Dutch clogs and a typical Dutch bonnet per team and let them run a course wearing these items.

GAME 7: Hymns

Length: 5 minutes

Material: A sheet with flags, CD, CD player

Preparation: Copy (or stick) all of the flags of the participating countries on a piece of A4 paper and give each team a copy of this. You will also need a CD with the national anthems.

Game: The teams sit down on the ground. You should now play 10 different national anthems one after the other and the teams must guess which country it belongs to and write on their sheet. The team with the most right answers wins.

GAME 8: Future world champions

Aim: Volunteers perform a banana eating competition.

Length: 5 minutes

Material: Pictures of the stars of the participating teams. These can be taken from the official list of interesting players in the elimination rounds of the world cup 2006 ( ).

Preparation: Find some pictures of the stars of the world cup. Tip: Simply use a search engine (e.g. Google), enter the name and then click on the pictures. Make them as large as possible and stick them onto a piece of A4 paper. Write the name under the photo. Then you should write the countries on individual pieces of paper.

  • Brazil (5) Kakà, the “new Pelé" with white skin
  • Germany (3) Lukas Podolski, the wonder child
  • Italy (3) Alberto Gilardino, the rising star of the world cup
  • Argentina (2) Javier Mascherano, a great player for the coming century
  • Uruguay (2) Sebastián Viera, a guarantee for safety between the posts
  • England (1) Shaun Wright-Phillips, the new star on the horizon
  • France (1) Florent Malouda, the man with the left foot

Game: Make two teams. Each team receives a set of pictures and countries. On the signal they must match up the names and countries as quickly as possible. If you want to increase the difficulty level then let the kids stick the names on the correct place on a map of the world.
Note: Might become interesting to see how the expectations of these players come true.

Input... Speech

Length: 5 minutes

Material: Statements from Christian football players or a guest

Preparation: The best choice would be a local sports star who is a Christian who can hold a short speech about “true world champions“. He can explain how he/she became a Christian and why he/she is a Christian. It should be someone who can speak to young people.

As an alternative you can use the following statements from football players and hand them out (with picture) and say why you are a Christian. This should give the kids a taste for Christianity and be a chance to invite them to the next meeting.


Show part of a short film where the sportsman or sportswoman is shown or read from a newspaper and then introduce the guest. Then he/she can continue to make their speech. As an alternative you can find a DVD from and show a portrait. You can then tell the children what is impressive about the football world cup and what is impressive about Jesus.

Here are some statements which you can build on:

  • „The most important thing about faith is knowing how to love God just as we are. That is the basis of my faith and that gives me energy for all situations in life.”
    Zé Roberto

  • „God really does seem to have answered my prayers. That was one of the strangest days in my life!” He always wanted to be rich and happy. Through other players he found contact to the evangelical community: „Today it fills my heart with joy that I know Jesus."
    Marcelo Bordon

  • „Those who love God must reckon with surprises. In my favourite book, the bible, I can read God’s promise in black and white that he will watch out for us.”
    Gerald Asamoah

Crunch... Hamburger Banquet

Aim: We can only find out what God is like if we try him out.

Length: 50 minutes

Material: Basic materials: a sharp knife, cutting board, bowl, wooden spoon, frying pan, kitchen scales, table and teaspoons, spatula

Ingredients for 4 persons

  • 450g mince
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • 2 tsp. ketchup
  • 2 tblsp oil for frying
  • 4 bread buns

Preparation time: 30 Minutes


  1. Peel the onion and cut up finely.
  2. Mix the onion with the mince in a bowl and carefully season with salt and pepper.
  3. Stir in the mustard and ketchup.
  4. Make 4 flat hamburgers with the hands.
  5. Heat up the oil in the pan and fry the hamburgers on both sides for approx. 6 minutes on a medium heat.
  6. Cut the bread buns in half and place the hamburger inside.

For a super-hamburger a green lettuce leaf is placed on the bread along with a slice of cheese and (home-made) ketchup.

Note: You can, of course, make the hamburgers at home or let others prepare them for you…but it is more fun for the kids to barbecue at the location and make the hamburgers themselves.

This material was provided by the Youth Christ Germany, the Rock Solid Club. Rock Solid Club is a place where teenagers can experience things which they would not experience elsewhere. There are crazy games and events, there are discussion groups and there is bible work... Every four weeks there is a special club night for the Rockies where something crazy happens. It can be a car race, a pizza party, the banana Joe or the town rally. Rock Solid also means that fun is put back into youth work. The Rock Solid Club programs were specially developed to reach youths with special questions, needs and interests. There is more information available on the Rock Sold Club's web site and more material (see download area).

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