Borussia Dortmund midfielder Gonzalo Castro is the latest Bundesliga player to lend his support to the Bundesliga Foundation-backed 'MitternachtsSport' integration initiative
Respect, tolerance and fair play
The 28-year-old returned to his hometown of Wuppertal on Saturday to open the project’s third site after Berlin and Hamburg.
"Wuppertal is my hometown and MitternachtsSport is my project," Castro said. "That two things that are so dear to me have come together makes me really happy. Regardless of roots, religion and social class, we want to use football to help young people handle the challenges sometimes posed by society nowadays."
'MitternachtsSport' offers young people free weekend football courses with socio-educational provision and communicates to its participants the values of respect, tolerance and fair play.
As well as the Bundesliga Foundation and Castro, the project is also supported by Jerome Boateng (FC Bayern München), Änis Ben-Hatira (Hertha Berlin) and Manuel Schmiedebach (Hannover 96), as well as Bundesliga clubs Hertha Berlin and Hamburger SV.
'MitternachtsSport' recently received the Laureus Sport Award, having been previously honoured with the 2013 BAMBI award and the German football association’s Integration prize.