Andreas Ivanschitz, captain of the Austrian national team and striker for Red Bull Salzburg, accepted his FIFA/SOS ambassador's certificate in a ceremony held at SOS Children's Village Seekirchen in May 2006. Ivanschitz toured the children's village, signed autographs and played in a friendly match with the children.
Photo: Hugh Linnehan
Upon arrival, the Red Bull Salzburg midfielder greeted the children warmly, then accompanied Assistant Village Director Christian Wurm on a tour of the children's village. He stopped for an autograph session, signing caps and t-shirts and even one child's jeans.On a beautiful spring day in the Austrian Alps, the children of SOS Children's Village Seekirchen awaited Ivanschitz's arrival with great anticipation, looking into each car that approached the children's village.
Ivanschitz, who in 2004 was named the youngest captain in the history of the Austrian national team, pledged to be an accessible ambassador. "I am proud to accept this honour, and look forward to being an active ambassador for SOS Children's Villages," said Ivanschitz.
"When I think of the other 'FIFA for SOS Children's Villages' ambassadors - players like Wayne Rooney and Andrei Shevchenko - I realise what a privilege it is to work with these children and this organisation."
As captain of Austria's team, he pledged to use his notoriety to support SOS Children's Villages. "I think that the needs of children should come first, and I want to use my status as a football player to spread the ideas of SOS Children's Villages and to provide a public voice for the children," said Ivanschitz.
Denis Djulic of SOS Austria was excited about having such a young and energetic ambassador representing Austria. "Ivanschitz will make a committed ambassador because he genuinely cares about children," he said. "Ivanschitz did not want to simply lend his name to the 6 villages for 2006 campaign and beyond. He wants to be an active and involved ambassador for many years."