Location and general information
FC Shakhtar Donetsk was based in the town of Donetsk until 2014. Due to the military conflict in the Eastern Ukraine, the club has relocated to Kyiv. Some of Donetsk’s inhabitants have also been forced to move away. According to government data, more than 1.6 million people escaped the conflict region and eight cities near Donetsk, namely: Krasnohorivka, Marinka, Kurakhove, Avdiivka, Shchastya, Popasna, Toretsk and Volnovakha. Some of the children from this region have sustained injuries as a direct result of the military conflict.
“Come On, Let’s Play!” is a grassroots project which aims to help migrant children from the war zone in Eastern Ukraine, and disadvantaged and disabled children living close to the frontline. Football is a way to instil values, such as respect, integration, responsibility, fun, physical exercise, psychological support and personal development, in these children. The programme includes regular football training sessions for juniors and disabled children, competitions and a final tournament. The possibility of meeting and playing with players from FC Shakhtar’s first team is an additional motivation for these children.
In close co-operation with local partners and an international partner – EFDN, the grassroots football project “Come On, Let’s Play!” aims to improve access to football for children living close to the frontline, refugees and socially disadvantaged children.
It seeks to promote social inclusion, improve children’s quality of life, boost extracurricular learning and activities and provide relief from the pressures of living in a crisis area. The main beneficiaries are children aged between 7 and 12, including disabled children. The project aims to attract 620 participants.
The first activity is a “Come On, Let’s Play!” grassroots football project for children aged between 7 and 12, with the aim of improving the social inclusion of children living close to the frontline.
It will be a 12-month programme comprising the following elements.
- Free football sessions held three times a week by the main coach and two volunteers.
- The main coach and volunteers train 60 children per playground (with the exception of Toretsk – 80 participants) in two different age groups (U10 and U12), with at least 10% of participants being girls.
- Four groups of disabled children will be trained in four project locations, involving 40 children.
- The disabled children will have an adapted programme and will be provided with the necessary equipment.
- During the implementation of the project, FC Shakhtar first team players will visit each project location and play a football game with the children.
- The Saturday football session will include football matches between different age groups.
- The children will be provided with all the necessary equipment: training kits, balls, flat disks, bibs, a whistle, football nets, first aid kits, pumps, freeze sprays and coordination ladders.
The second activity is the “Come On, Let’s Play!” competition (one day). Twice a year, a local “Come On, Let’s Play!” competition will be held at each playground, in autumn 2019 and spring 2020. These competitions aim to enhance the children’s enjoyment, promoting a healthy lifestyle and allowing them to meet other children in locations close to the frontline. The participants of the “Come On, Let’s Play!” competition are organised into U10 and U12 teams. The expected number of participants is 480, with a minimum of 10% being girls.
The third activity is the “Come On, Let’s play!” final tournament in Volnovakha (two days). The “Come On, Let’s Play!” final tournament aims to unite all participants from the locations close to the frontline and promote social inclusion. It will take place in Volnovakha in April 2020. The final tournament will feature four U10 teams and four U12 teams from the eight different towns located close to the frontline. The total number of participants is 80 children aged between 7 and 12, with at least one girl per team. There will be 30 support staff (coaches and parents). Each town is allowed to put forward just one team of ten participants in one of the two age categories (U10 or U12). The tournament participants will be provided with accommodation, food and refreshments.
- 620 children aged between 7 and 12 are expected to benefit from the “Come On, Let’s Play” programme.
- Regular football training sessions will take place three times a week in two age categories (U10 and U12).
- Two local tournaments will be held in autumn 2019 and spring 2020 involving 480 participants.
- One final tournament will be held in Volnovakha in April 2020 involving one team from each of the eight cities.