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November 30, 2022

Prince Edward presents in Cluj Napoca 70 young people from European countries with the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award

Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex, on Thursday in Cluj-Napoca presented 70 young people from European countries who reached the gold level in the programme with the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award.

After the awards ceremony, Prince Edward attended a cocktail party with the young awardees and talked with them.

Lisa Puiu, one of the young awardees, told AGERPRES that the project was an unforgettable experience.

“It showed me the steps, how to follow them. For example, in martial arts: how to become athletic and flexible from a point where I really wasn’t. And, simply, the every day job. Every day, if you do something, even a little, you can get there. It was a big change for me. Every day a little and finally I finished, sometimes laughing, sometimes crying, but I did it. I really didn’t expect Prince Edward to be here. I feel like he really has a passion for the award and what it means to complete any award stage. I think it means a lot to them and I’m very happy to support the youth in reaching their dreams,” said Puiu.

On Thursday, Prince Edward of the United Kingdom awarded several young footballers with the Viitorul Football Academy in central-western Cluj-Napoca, he attended and participated in their training, he spoke with them and even took a shot from 11 meters, scoring a goal.

“It was an honour to us to meet such important people as His Royal Highness. (…) I really enjoyed the discussion with His Highness, we talked a little about the programme, it was a beautiful interaction, especially with penalties,” said Traian Cipataru, one of the awarded young footballers, who also spoke with Prince Edward.

“We are very happy, very honored to host this visit today. We are also very proud to be the only football academy in Romania that delivers this programme. This visit is confirmation of the work done and the professionalism of the entire staff of the Viitorul Cluj Football Academy. (…) As part of The Duke of Edinburgh International Award program, our athletes develop their skills, discover their abilities, face challenges, learn what volunteering means, what it means to work for the benefit of the community and learn to define their own goals. We want these young people to have alternatives to their sports career,” said the development director of the Viitorul Cluj Football Academy, Andra Zavaleanu.

She also said that there are 100 young people from the Cluj football academy in The Duke of Edinburgh International Award programme, 25 of whom completed the bronze level and received certificates from Prince Edward.

Viitorul Cluj Football Academy has a total of 400 children between 5-20 years old.


The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation Forum 2022 started on Tuesday, with the opening ceremony, attended by Her Majesty Margareta, Custodian of the Romanian Crown, and HRH Prince Radu of Romania, HRH Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex and Forfar, as president of The Duke of Edinburgh International Award Foundation, Prince Guillaume, Hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Rt. Hon. Lord Paul Yaw Boateng, International Administrator and President of the International Council of the Award Programme.

The Duke of Edinburgh International Award is a project of the late Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II, implemented in Romania with the help of Honorary Consul of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Shajjad Rizvi, and patronized by Her Majesty Margareta, Custodian of the Romanian Crown

The Award in Romania was launched in 2013 and has greatly extended its reach over the years, involving nearly 10,000 young participants to date. Nationally, it is offered in a wide variety of schools, sports academies and NGOs, involving more than 2,000 adult volunteers since its inception.

The Award encourages young people to learn new skills, get physically active, volunteer within their communities and discover a sense of adventure outside the classroom. It offers young people opportunities that help them unlock their potential and be ready for their world, whatever that world may be.

World leaders, including Prince Edward, the brother of British King Charles III, are in Cluj-Napoca for The Duke of Edinburgh International Award Foundation Forum that will end on Friday.

The global Forum 2022 officially began with the welcoming ceremony on October 11, where delegates and special guests were addressed by The Earl of Wessex in his capacity as chairman of The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation; Margareta, Custodian of Romanian Crown and Prince Radu of Romania; Prince Guillaume of Luxembourg, and Lord Boateng, International Trustee and Chair of the Award’s International Council.

It is the first time that the Global Forum takes place outside a Commonwealth country.

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