Among many other sport facilities based on Ekeberg area, a large military tent strikes the visitors of Norway Cup. The young soldiers are helping a 10-year-old boy to wear a mini protective soldier jacket. In the backyard of the tent, a group of teens are lined up for hitting combat helmets attached to sticks by kicking a soccer ball, while five young girls are competing each other to finish a military training game mixed with football.
– We aim to inform youngsters about military education and Norwegian defense system in a fun way, says the female soldier supervising "hit the helmet" game. She adds Norwegian defense ministry has a special interest in this tournament because they could find a lot of young people who are interested in learning about military.
Last year, the participation level of military in the tournament was a bit different. Norwegian Defence Minister Grete Faremo had met the players of Faryab United from Afghanistan and spectated them through their matches. Defense minister had also expressed that the team's participation would increase awareness about the ongoing military operations in Afghanistan.
– It's great to be here, and it is very important to get the Afghan team here to Norway Cup. It is an invaluable sportive experience for their players and it gives us opportunity to talk to them about our mission in Afghanistan," said Faremo.