Visa donates €50,000 to UEFA Foundation-backed charity selected by Amandine Henry

Visa donates €50,000 to UEFA Foundation-backed charity selected by Amandine Henry

The Player of the Match in the 2021/22 UEFA Women’s Champions League final has selected Sport dans la Ville to receive a €50,000 donation from Visa.

Olympique Lyonnais (OL) midfielder Amandine Henry has directed a €50,000 donation from Visa to Sport dans la Ville, a French charity supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children. An official award ceremony will be organised the 14th of September, on the OL campus in the presence of the association Sport dans la Ville.

Henry paved the way to OL’s 3-1 victory over FC Barcelona in the UEFA Women’s Champions League final back in May when she scored the first goal of the game in the sixth minute. Named Player of the Match by Visa, which sponsors UEFA’s women’s football competitions, she was given the opportunity to choose one of the 245 charities supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children to receive the prize money.

 

Making a difference on and off the pitch

"I am very happy to have been awarded Player of the Match at the UEFA Women’s Champions League final," Henry said. "My contribution to my team's victory has been recognised, which gives me real satisfaction, but I am also delighted to be able to contribute off the pitch."

"Thanks to Visa's commitment, I was able to choose an organisation that I hold in high regard. Sport dans la Ville does great work in Lyon and throughout France. Giving them such a significant donation will improve the conditions of access to sport for many young people. Considering what sport has enabled me to achieve, it means a lot to me."

Sport dans la Ville, a long-standing partner of the UEFA Foundation, works with young and disadvantaged children in marginalised neighbourhoods across France to help them achieve a better life through sports by offering mentoring and entrepreneurship programmes. Founded in 1998, the charity currently operates in 46 urban areas and has supported more than 12,000 at-risk youths across the country.

Visa is also partnering with Sport dans la Ville in underserved areas of Seine-Saint-Denis on a programme promoting the practice of sports among young people to lead healthier lives and develop the tools they need to perform better academically.

 

Sports and football to empower girls

Urs Kluser, General Secretary of the UEFA Foundation for Children, is delighted with Visa’s contribution, saying: “I thank VISA and Amandine for this donation. It is a nice link between women’s football and the foundation’s activity. It will not only make a difference to a meaningful project but will also promote our shared values, such as the passion for the game and equal opportunities.”

The UEFA Foundation for Children uses football as a springboard to empower children around the world. This is achieved by setting up sporting and educational projects that give children a safe place to learn and play, which ultimately improves their prospects.

"I want to thank Visa and Amandine on behalf of the entire Sport dans la Ville association for this very generous donation," said Nicholas Eschermann, president of Sport dans la Ville. "Visa is a trusted partner and we are very happy to have been able to count on their support for several years now."

 

Visa dedicated to women's football

“Visa's ongoing support for women's football provides a platform to recognise current athletes and inspire future ones and aims to make a small yet robust contribution to the globally growing movement for gender equality and women's empowerment. As partners of Sport dans la Ville, we are especially happy to see that they will receive this donation enabling them to keep supporting children through sports,” says Juan Herrera, Visa’s head of marketing for France, Belgium and Luxembourg.

In December 2018, UEFA announced a landmark seven-year partnership with Visa, who thus became the first ever UEFA sponsor dedicated to women's football.

The landmark agreement made Visa a main partner of the UEFA Women's Champions League, UEFA Women's EURO, European Women's Under-19 and Under-17 Championships and UEFA Women's Futsal EURO until 2025. Visa also collaborates on UEFA's Together #WePlayStrong marketing initiative, which is aimed at getting more girls and women to play football.

I am very happy to have been awarded Player of the Match at the UEFA Women’s Champions League final. My contribution to my team's victory has been recognised, which gives me real satisfaction, but I am also delighted to be able to contribute off the pitch. Thanks to Visa's commitment, I was able to choose an organisation that I hold in high regard. Sport dans la Ville does great work in Lyon and throughout France. Giving them such a significant donation will improve the conditions of access to sport for many young people. Considering what sport has enabled me to achieve, it means a lot to me.

- Amandine Henry, midfielder at Olympique Lyonnais

FC Barcelona v Olympique Lyon - UEFA Women's Champions League Final 2021/22
Olympique Lyonnais Training Session And Press Conference - UEFA Women's Champions League Final 2021/22

About Visa

Project partner

Visa (NYSE: V) is a world leader in digital payments, facilitating transactions between consumers, merchants, financial institutions, and government entities across more than 200 countries and territories. Our mission is to connect the world through the most innovative, convenient, reliable, and secure payments network, enabling individuals, businesses, and economies to thrive. We believe that economies that include everyone everywhere, uplift everyone everywhere and see access as foundational to the future of money movement. Learn more at Visa.fr or visit our blog

 

Call for projects 2022

Call for projects 2022

ON 27 JUNE 2022 THE UEFA FOUNDATION FOR CHILDREN LAUNCHes ITS CALL FOR PROJECTS which SEEK TO PROMOTE CHILDREN’S FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS ACROSS THE world.

 

This call for projects is aimed at any organisation that shares the values of the UEFA foundation and proposes practical measures to help children, in the areas of access to sport, health, education, employment, personal development and supporting vulnerable children.

Applications are invited from organisations anywhere in the world. Support is not limited to projects within Europe.

 

Eligibility criteria

The UEFA Foundation for Children will examine and evaluate each project.

The final decision on the selection of projects will be taken by the board of trustees in accordance with the foundation’s statutes and ethics code.

Specific conditions relating to funding are provided in the project criteria.

 

Apply now

To submit your project, click here. The application deadline is 31 July 2022 midnight.

Candidates will be notified of the progress of their application by the end of 2022.

 

 

 

ECA partners with UEFA Foundation to invite club applications for Ukrainian Relief Fund

ECA partners with UEFA Foundation to invite club applications for Ukrainian Relief Fund

The UEFA Foundation for Children will help ECA implement this humanitarian initiative by allocating donations to fund charitable projects

The European Club Association (ECA), in partnership with the UEFA Foundation for Children, has formally opened the process for member clubs to apply for donations from a €1m fund to help Ukrainians affected by the ongoing conflict. This Ukrainian Relief Fund was announced by ECA chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi during his opening address to the recent ECA General Assembly in Vienna on 28 March.

Until 17 June, each ECA member club can apply for a donation of between €25,000 and €50,000 to support humanitarian initiatives helping Ukrainian people who continue to be affected by the tragic circumstances in their country.

These funds will enable clubs to take meaningful, concrete action providing  opportunities for the integration and development of displaced children and their families affected by the war. Many clubs in regions with a high influx of refugees have already invested considerable resources in various projects.

ECA is partnering with the UEFA Foundation for Children to manage this humanitarian project. The applications will first be shortlisted by the newly established ECA Ukrainian Relief Committee, before the foundation makes the final decision based on its own assessment and procedures. ECA will then transfer the funds to the foundation, which will be responsible for allocating the money to the successful clubs.

“This generous support from ECA confirms football's solidarity with the victims of the war in Ukraine,” said Urs Kluser, the general secretary of the UEFA Foundation for Children. “It is a great help to the clubs that have selflessly taken in families with children or supported them through football activities over the last four months.”

Announcing the launch of the Ukrainian Relief Fund to ECA General Assembly, Al-Khelaifi remarked on the action already taken by many of its members:

I am very proud to announce that ECA will make an initial €1m available to support our members’ efforts to help the Ukrainian people. Many of our clubs have also offered to find a safe place for Ukrainian youth academy players, and we thank them for this.

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Seville children given a once-in-a-lifetime experience

Seville children given a once-in-a-lifetime experience

Hankook Tire gives back to Seville’s ‘local heroes’

After its first successful cooperation with the UEFA Foundation for Children at the UEFA Europa League final in Gdansk in 2021, Hankook Tire continues to bring smiles back to children’s faces. UEFA’s long-standing partner once again donated 50 tickets for the UEFA Europa League final and acquired the sole and exclusive rights for referee mascots. As the final was in Seville this year, the two partners decided to work with the Fundación Alalá to provide all participants with a unique and exciting final matchday.

“Thanks to the success of our cooperation with UEFA and Hankook Tire, we are bringing smiles to children’s face again,” said Urs Kluser, the Foundation for Children’s general secretary. “We will make sure we give them and their coaches an unforgettable experience.”

As part of its charity work, in the 2021/22 UEFA Europa League season, Hankook Tire launched the Local Heroes Challenge, a digital campaign for local football clubs throughout Europe, to promote grassroots football culture. On each Europa League tournament matchday, participant clubs have been able to win a full set of premium football kits. The campaign has also highlighted the work of the coaches who put so much of their time and effort into helping these children.

Since 2012 Hankook Tire has been an Official Partner of the UEFA Europa League and is very pleased not only to be continuing the successful partnership with the UEFA Foundation but also to be contributing once again to a great corporate social responsibility project through its involvement in this major event.

Hankook Tire surprised the children with a visit from the official UEFA Europa League final ambassador and former Spanish football goalkeeper Andrés Palop who took part in a football training session with the Alalá children and handed out the tickets for the UEFA Europa League final in Seville.

About Alalá – Fundación arte y cultura por la integración

Alalá supports social integration through education for youngsters at risk of social exclusion in Polígono Sur, a part of Seville known for its poor living conditions. Culture, art, and sport are used as a motivational tool. Children can take part in music and dance activities (drums, singing and theatre) to experience different cultures, or can join a football team that competes in a local league.

Thanks to the success of our cooperation with UEFA and Hankook Tire, we are bringing smiles to children’s face again. We will make sure we give them and their coaches an unforgettable experience.

- Urs Kluser, the Foundation for Children’s general secretary

SEVILLE, SPAIN - MAY 18: Youth Programme children Players and referee mascots and OMBC carrier. Ivan Rakitic and Andres Palop. BUEFA Europa League final match between Eintracht Frankfurt and Rangers FC at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on May 18, 2022 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)
SEVILLE, SPAIN - MAY 18: Engelbert Strauss Player Mascots are seen  during the UEFA Europa League final match between Eintracht Frankfurt and Rangers FC at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on May 18, 2022 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)
SEVILLE, SPAIN - MAY 18: Players and Referee Mascots and OMBC Arrivala prior tothe UEFA Europa League final match between Eintracht Frankfurt and Rangers FC at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan on May 18, 2022 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)
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Hankook Tire

Project partner

Hankook Tire manufactures innovative and award-winning radial tyres of proven superior quality for passenger cars, light trucks, SUVs, RVs, trucks and buses as well as motorsports. Hankook Tire employs approximately 20,000 people worldwide and sells its products in over 180 countries. Hankook Tire has been represented in the renowned Dow Jones Sustainability Index World (DJSI World) since 2016. For more information, please visit http://www.hankooktire-mediacenter.com or www.hankooktire.com

 

Sustainable and inclusive football pitch inaugurated in Italy

Sustainable and inclusive football pitch inaugurated in Italy

First Lay's RePlay five-a-side pitch in the European Union inaugurated, in collaboration with the UEFA Foundation for Children and streetfootballworld

This new five-a-side football pitch is part of the Lay's RePlay project that brings joy to deserving communities around the world by playing sport more accessible, transforming empty packets into sustainable football pitches, with a net zero carbon footprint. This pitch was donated to Balon Mundial, an anti-discrimination association in Turin.

The inauguration at the Casa Del Quartiere was attended by Claudio Marchisio, in the role of UEFA Legend, who shared his viewpoint on the social importance of sport; Nadine Kessler, UEFA Chief of Women's Football and UEFA Foundation for Children ambassador, who highlighted how football can change a life and expand young people’s potential; and Lay’s brand ambassador, The Jackal, who took part in the field activities.

The freshly laid pitch was immediately put to good use the next day for the national Italian final of the Gatorade 5v5 tournament for amateur girls’ teams aged 14 to 16. The tournament highlighted women's football ahead of the UEFA Women’s Champions League between Olympique Lyonnais and Barcelona FC at the Juventus stadium.

Balon Mundial A.S.D. ONLUS is a non-profit sports association based in Turin that uses sport and football to create social impact and promote an open society free of discrimination. Known for organising the ‘World Cup of Migrant Communities’ in Turin, which involves 1,000 players every year, the association will oversee pitch maintenance and organise activities for the community.

This is the fourth pitch donated by Lay’s after South Africa, the UK and Brazil.

Inclusion in the world of sport is fundamental and it is a value in which I personally believe in a lot. I have been able to experience first-hand the impact that sport and football can have on everyone's life and thanks to the synergy between the UEFA Foundation and Lay's RePlay, we are having a positive impact on thousands of people who otherwise could not have a place where to play.

In my opinion, the importance of this project is therefore fundamental for young people both as a place to meet, play and share, and for talent and inclusiveness.

- Nadine Kessler, UEFA chief of womens' football

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Lay's unveils its latest RePlay pitch today in Turin ahead of the Women's UEFA Champions League final at the weekend
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About PepsiCo

Project partner

PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than 1bn times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world.

Guiding PepsiCo is its vision to ‘be the global leader in beverages and convenient foods by winning with PepsiCo positive’ (pep +). Pep + is the group’s strategic end-to-end transformation that puts sustainability at the centre of how it creates value and growth by operating within planetary boundaries and inspiring positive change for planet and people. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.

Clarence Seedorf joins the UEFA Foundation for Children board

Clarence Seedorf joins the UEFA Foundation for Children board

The football legend brings a global profile and more than 20 years' experience of working with charitable projects.

Seedorf, who remains the only player to have lifted the UEFA Champions League with three different clubs, has dedicated himself to social projects both during and after his playing career, using the power of sport to inspire positive change.

"We are delighted Clarence is joining the UEFA Foundation for Children family," said UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin, who is also chairman of the UEFA Foundation for Children.

"Not only does he carry an inspirational story as one of the most successful footballers of his generation, he has continually used his experiences to help make the world a better place for others. Having Clarence on our team will be a huge benefit to the Foundation as we work together to improve the lives of disadvantaged children all over the world."

Giving back to communities

Seedorf, who speaks six languages and represented the Netherlands 87 times, added: "It's an honour and a pleasure to join the UEFA Foundation for Children. I have followed its activities closely and am very happy to join in support of its work.

"I have spoken with President Čeferin for some time and appreciate that he has embraced the idea of me joining the team. I hope we can enjoy this relationship for a long time, do some great things and give back to communities around the world."

Clarence, welcome to the UEFA Foundation for Children. How do you see your role on the board of trustees developing?

"I think joining the Foundation is a nice evolution of my relationship with UEFA which has been in place for some time, and together we understand the importance that football has in society and in the lives of kids.

"I’ve been involved in foundations for over 25 years, and that has given me great insight into what it takes to make an impact and create projects that make a difference.

"But first, I want to understand much better and learn from where the Foundation stands now and how I can bring my knowledge and experience on board in order to achieve the goals of the Foundation, and eventually, improve upon what is there now and bring added value as a team member. I really look forward to this and I am very proud of this appointment."

 

How important is it that players and sportspeople use their influence as a force for good?

"Well, many players actually are involved in charitable organisations, either their own or lending their name to other institutions or organisations.

"It's something very personal and some are more involved than others, some are visionary in what they do and involved in decision-making processes where others prefer to be more behind the scenes or low-key.

"Nobody has an obligation to run in front, but I think we all have an obligation to add value to all those who have given us so much over the years.

"I’ve always seen a lot of goodwill from players to participate in good causes and I’m just happy to continue my part in that without comparing or having expectations of others. I believe we should start with ourselves and try to put as much in as we can."

 

Who have been your own inspirations and role models through the course of your life?

"The first people are my parents, of course. They’ve always been very positive role models in my life. I would also say some of the teachers I had from school and in my football youth.

"Nelson Mandela, particularly, has always played and still plays a very central role in the core of my mission - enduring situations and starting a path for us to follow and to keep on pushing for those who are less privileged and for a more peaceful world.

"My belief is that peace comes through education, and education has to have, as a backbone, sports, especially in the early stages of life. These are the key elements I believe will change the world. And we have the capacity and the means to, as a team, make that difference.

"Having role models in life – and this is where we go back a little bit to players – I think that the role that players have today, even more than 20 years ago, is to be a positive role model and to be aware that kids are looking up to you and follow your actions and behaviours.

"Those role models have always continued to keep me on the right path – that spiritual path, actually, of giving and adding value where we can."

 

Mandela talked about the power of sport to inspire change in the world. How important can it be as a social tool?

"He was able to change the face of a whole country and the understanding of unity through sport. So, it’s just a very, very strong, efficient and effective tool when it’s used properly.

"That’s what I believe we should be aiming for: to create and embrace very strong and sustainable projects that use sport as a fundamental tool to improve the overall development and lives of young kids.

"Playing sport between the ages of five and 12 is scientifically proven to help with cognitive and creative development in kids – it should be a right for every child to have."

ATHENS, GREECE - MAY 23: Clarence Seedorf of Milan runs with the trophy in celebration following his teams 2-1 victory during the UEFA Champions League Final match between Liverpool and AC Milan at the Olympic Stadium on May 23, 2007 in Athens, Greece.  (Photo by Sandra Behne/Bongarts/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - JUNE 12:  UEFA Global Ambassador for Diversity and Change Clarence Seedorf attends the Fare 2015 Barcelona Conference at Camp Nou on June 12, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Clarence Seedorf
UEFA Champions League Semi Final - Barcelona v AC Milan (2)
Sport, Football, UEFA Champions League Final, Athens, 23rd May 2007, AC Milan 2 v Liverpool 1, AC Milan's Clarence Seedorf celebrates with the trophy  (Photo by Bob Thomas Sports Photography via Getty Images)

Clarence Seedorf joins UEFA Foundation for Children board

Clarence Seedorf joins UEFA Foundation for Children board

2022 awards reallocated to support Ukrainian children

Ahead of the UEFA Europa League final on 18 May, the UEFA Foundation for Children Board of Trustees met in Seville on the premises of Fundación Grandes Valores, an NGO supported by the foundation since January 2022.

Chaired by Aleksander Čeferin, this first session of the year opened with the election of a new board member, the most decorated Dutch player of all time, Clarence Seedorf, who has won domestic and continental titles while playing for clubs in the Netherlands, Spain, Italy and Brazil. Clarence has been heavily involved in several social development projects over the past 20 years.

“It is a great honour for me to take a seat on the UEFA Foundation for Children Board of Trustees,” said Clarence Seedorf, four-time UEFA Champions League winner. “I look forward to being involved in decisions that make such a positive impact on the lives our future generation using sport and football.”

Meanwhile, Elkhan Mammadov, the general secretary of the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan, has decided to step down from his role as trustee. The board took the opportunity to thank him for his excellent work and support over the past five years.

 

2022 UEFA Foundation for Children awards

Due to the crisis in Ukraine, on 28 February, the Board of Trustees decided to allocate the 2022 UEFA Foundation for Children award funding to support for Ukrainian children displaced to neighbouring countries and internally. Initial assistance for Ukrainian children’s hospitals had been forwarded through the Moldovan Football Association on 2 March. The award money – €1 million – is currently being channelled to the neighbouring countries via the UEFA member associations in Moldova, Poland Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine. In other years, these awards are a recognition for European children’s charities recommended by UEFA member associations.

 

2022 call for projects

Applicants for this year’s awards will be able to submit their projects between 27 June and 31 July. The criteria will be announced in due course and the selected projects will be unveiled at the next Board of Trustees meeting on 16 November.

The meeting ended with a presentation and a guided tour of the Grandes Valores project, a football programme for migrants, refugees, asylum-seekers and children from vulnerable communities that aims to improve these youngsters’ physical and mental well-being, reduce inequalities and break down prejudice towards them.

It is a great honour for me to take a seat on the UEFA Foundation for Children Board of Trustees. I look forward to being involved in decisions that make such a positive impact on the lives our future generation using sport and football.

- Clarence Seedorf, board member of UEFA Founation for Children

Sevilla, Spain - MAY 18th: President and UEFA visit at the IES Albert Einstein Secondary School before the Europa League final 2022 on May 18 2022, in Sevilla, Spain. (Photo by Kristian Skeie - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)
Sevilla, Spain - MAY 18th: President and UEFA visit at the IES Albert Einstein Secondary School before the Europa League final 2022 on May 18 2022, in Sevilla, Spain. (Photo by Kristian Skeie - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)
Sevilla, Spain - MAY 18th: President and UEFA visit at the IES Albert Einstein Secondary School before the Europa League final 2022 on May 18 2022, in Sevilla, Spain. (Photo by Kristian Skeie - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)
Sevilla, Spain - MAY 18th: President and UEFA visit at the IES Albert Einstein Secondary School before the Europa League final 2022 on May 18 2022, in Sevilla, Spain. (Photo by Kristian Skeie - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

UEFA Europa League player mascots dressed by Engelbert Strauss

UEFA Europa League player mascots dressed by Engelbert Strauss

Kits made in the new Engelbert Strauss factory in Bangladesh

For the 2021/22 football season, Strauss became the official sponsor of the UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League. Europe’s leading workwear brand is preparing to unveil the new player mascot kits at the UEFA Europa League final in Seville on 18 May.

Engelbert Strauss donated the 22 player mascot kits to German and Spanish children from Fundación Grande Valores to celebrate European diversity. Support from UEFA competition partners makes a big difference to the foundation’s work and includes exclusive events and opportunities.

“We’re delighted that Strauss is partnering with us to support the work of the UEFA Foundation for Children,“ says UEFA Foundation general secretary Urs Kluser. “We’re using the magic of football to bring hope to children all around the world.”

Guided by the same belief that nothing sustains more than education, the company is strongly committed to helping children and teenagers.

“Football brings joy and unites people, says Strauss CEO and brand director Henning Strauss. “And football kicks off positive change worldwide. We’re highlighting this with the UEFA Foundation for Children logo on our new finals kit – turning the strip into a statement.”

There are plans for more joint initiatives between the foundation and Strauss in the future, with a particular focus on Bangladesh, where the workwear company’s new  CI factory is located and where Strauss supports local communities as it has done in manufacturing countries outside Germany for several years.

New production technology

As official sponsor of the UEFA Europa League, Strauss will equip the player mascots with football kits created using cutting-edge clothing technology. One of the most ambitious aspects of the kit is its use of ‘energy waves’, the Europa League‘s iconic graphic motif. Thanks to brand new techniques pioneered in Bangladesh, these will be printed across seams without breaks, by welding and taping invisible seams, creating digital prototypes for 3D printing and composing new textile materials.

Football brings joy and unites people, and football kicks off positive change worldwide. We’re highlighting this with the UEFA Foundation for Children logo on our new finals kit – turning the strip into a statement.”

- Henning Strauss, Strauss CEO and brand director

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For all pictures (c)Engelbert Strauss

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About Engelbert Strauss

Project partner

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Engelbert Strauss is Europe's leading work and utility brand. Headquartered 50 km north-west of Frankfurt/Main the company employs around 1600 people and manufactures in 26 countries worldwide. Strauss has been a leader in customizing and branding for decades and is one of the top online retailers in Germany. Strauss has already caused a sensation with extraordinary partnerships in sports and entertainment – including collaborations with global stars such as the rock band Metallica and the Hollywood Stuntmen’s Association. The company’s strategic direction in sports sponsorship focuses on the premium sector: Strauss is official sponsor of the UEFA Europa League, the UEFA Conference League and official partner of the German national football team. The iconic Strauss ostrich also supports the esports player foundation as a kit supplier and promoter of young talent.

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UEFA Foundation for Children awards €1 million to assist Ukrainian children

UEFA Foundation for Children awards €1 million to assist Ukrainian children

The UEFA Foundation also provides emergency fund of €100,000 to assist children and refugees in Moldova.

The members of the board of trustees of the UEFA Foundation for Children and its chairman, Aleksander Čeferin, have today allocated the 2022 UEFA Foundation Award of €1 million to help children in Ukraine as well as child refugees in neighbouring countries.

These funds will finance initiatives from UEFA member associations and charities focusing on children’s rights and their well-being, with the exact needs currently being evaluated in close cooperation with the member associations and local partners. The UEFA Foundation for Children furthermore decided to allocate an immediate emergency aid fund of €100,000 to assist Ukrainian children and refugees.

The emergency aid fund will be provided to the Football Association of Moldova, which is already working with local humanitarian organisations to assist Ukrainian refugee children arriving in the country. Part of these provisions will also be used to provide medicines and supplies to children’s hospitals in Ukraine.

Commenting on the decisions, the UEFA President and Chairman of the UEFA Foundation for Children Aleksander Čeferin said:

"Children are very vulnerable during conflicts and it is our duty to help defend their fundamental rights and their health. Thanks to the solidarity of European football and the support of our partners, we will be able to provide some of the assistance that children urgently need in Ukraine and in neighbouring countries”.

The President of the Football Association of Moldova Leonid Oleinicenco added:

"We are going through unprecedented times, with thousands of Ukrainian families seeking shelter in our country. This concrete support from European football and the UEFA Foundation for Children will help us to rapidly meet the basic needs of families and their children via local humanitarian organisations."

The UEFA Foundation for Children aims to help children and defend their rights, for example through sport and football. It provides support in the areas of health, education, access to sport, personal development, integration of minorities and employability.

The Foundation, a public utility body under Swiss law, was created and started its activities on April 24, 2015. The foundation currently invests in 180 projects and has so far funded more than 400 projects in 130 countries worldwide. More than 1.8 million children have already benefited from the foundation's work since its creation.

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(c)Aurelia Ciobanu

Every child is a champion – the sole reason to read the 2020/21 UEFA Foundation for Children Activity Report

Every child is a champion – the sole reason to read the 2020/21 UEFA Foundation for Children Activity Report

The 2020/21 UEFA Foundation for Children Activity report shows the power of football to change lives despite the adversity brought about by the ongoing pandemic. The report highlights stories from children around the world who have benefitted from an array of UEFA Foundation projects.

The COVID-19 pandemic that brought the 2019/20 season to a halt continued to overshadow us in 2020/21. The repercussions reverberated through all our communities and impacted everyone in football.

Aleksander Čeferin, UEFA president:

"The world of football has rallied more than ever in support of the communities in which it is rooted. The commitment shown by national associations, clubs at all levels of the game, players and commercial partners, individually and collectively, has never been so great.

"The activities conducted or supported by the UEFA Foundation for Children all demonstrate the human and sociocultural dimension of our beautiful game. They highlight football's most positive values, namely respect and social cohesion."

Every child has a voice

To give more young people a voice, the UEFA Foundation regularly asked children involved in its projects to share stories about their day-to-day lives, their interests and their dreams. Their stories provide the most compelling evidence yet of the importance of football and the impact these projects have on the daily lives of many thousands of children.

 

UEFA Foundation for Children projects

Projects financed by the UEFA Foundation are underpinned by the need to protect children from all forms of discrimination. The projects tackle issues and focal points that also help to achieve the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a call to action for all countries working in a global partnership to reduce inequalities in the world. All the UEFA Foundation projects focus on areas including gender equality, personal development, protection of victim of conflicts, access to employment, infrastructure, medical care and the environment.

During 2020/ 21 there were 62 UEFA Foundation for Children projects ongoing in Europe and 59 projects outside of Europe. The number of beneficiaries since the Foundation started in 2015 has reached a staggering 1.8 million.

 

Ivan Rakitić and Eugénie Le Sommer take ambassadorial roles

In keeping with its strategy of partnering with popular public figures in the world of football, the UEFA Foundation for Children board appointed Ivan Rakitić and Eugénie Le Sommer as their first official ambassadors. Both players have exemplary European football playing careers and are actively committed to various social causes.

Ivan Rakitić, Sevilla FC midfielder

"I’m really happy about it – the fact I am a father of two girls means that I know and understand how important it is to see that smile on children's faces."

Having come on board in February 2021, Rakitić attended a videoconference with female coaches to mark International Women's Day on 8 March, and he personally greeted the player mascots and ball kids at the EURO 2020 match between Portugal and Belgium in Seville.

Eugénie Le Sommer, Olympique Lyonnais forward

"I want to share the pleasure of playing and my passion for football by helping those who need it in any way possible. Sometimes, the smallest details can change lives."

 

UEFA competitions

The UEFA Foundation for Children amplified their reach by running activations at UEFA's major competitions.

 

Making memories at the UEFA Champions League

In the midst of the pandemic, the final stages of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League, from the quarterfinals onwards, were held in the form of a mini-tournament in Portugal from 19 to 23 August. To continue making dreams come true for children suffering from serious illnesses, Mastercard, a UEFA Champions League partner, and the UEFA Foundation for Children gave youngsters the opportunity of a lifetime to meet some of the players virtually.

Ruby and Annika were invited behind the scenes at the match between RB Leipzig and Paris Saint-Germain and welcomed the players as they arrived at the stadium. Ten-year-old Ruby, a football fanatic from the northeast of England, was undergoing chemotherapy at the time, while 11-year-old Annika was receiving treatment at a cancer clinic in Frankfurt.

Ten-year-old Ruby, a football fanatic from the northeast of England

"Wow! I will remember this day for the rest of my life! Thank you! After the doctor only recently told me that I might not play football ever again, this lifted my spirits so much! I will never forget this day."

 

Children’s art adorns match ball at the UEFA Super Cup in Budapest

Although children were unable to set foot on the pitch at the Puskás Aréna in Budapest on 24 September 2020, 18 children participating in Foundation projects took centre stage on matchday, with their drawings featured in the design of the official match ball. Their designs were selected from over 200 entries by the UEFA president, Aleksander Čeferin.

 

A dream came true for Iranian refugee, Hanya

The UEFA Super Cup was also an opportunity to make Hanya's dream come true. Originally from Iran, the 20-year-old amateur footballer had never set foot inside a stadium before, because she was a woman. The UEFA Foundation for Children and its partner organisation in Budapest, Oltalom, secured her a ticket for the match.

Hanya, 20 year old Iranian refugee

"It showed me that you don’t have to be a man to enjoy a football match. I really hope that women in Iran and Iraq can watch and play football more freely; right now, they need to be hidden when they play – they cannot even play in a public place, which is very sad."

 

UEFA EURO 2020: Hope and joy

Things may not have gone as initially planned because of the pandemic, but the UEFA Foundation for Children still shared the thrill of the EURO with youngsters across the continent.

Thanks to the Abidal Foundation, the host cities and tournament Just Eat Takeaway.com, 1,820 children saw their dreams come true as they were given a unique experience inside the stadiums during EURO 2020.

In cooperation with the Abidal Foundation and Awabot, we supplied the stadiums in Budapest, Munich and Seville with a remote-controlled robot connected to a console. Young football fans in hospital with long-term illnesses or in convalescence homes were able to control the robot from where they were staying to experience the pre-match atmosphere and interact with their favourite players.

EURO 2020 helped the Foundation draw attention to areas such as social cohesion, integration of minorities and people with disabilities, and solidarity. This uniquely pan-European event enabled many foundation partners to promote their activities and involve their beneficiaries in a collective celebration of football.

 

Sponsors

A range of sponsors helped the UEFA Foundation deliver lasting memories for children across the world.

For two consecutive seasons, Visa, donated €50,000 to the UEFA Foundation for Children on behalf of the player of the match at the UEFA Women's Champions League final.

UEFA Champions League partner Gazprom sponsored a football pitch for the benefit of 1,000 children. The pitch was built at the Bora Radić primary school in Bavanište, a village about 40km east of Belgrade.

Lay's, a UEFA Champions League sponsor, has launched a global initiative, Lay's RePlay, which aims to bring joy to communities around the world through the power of football by reusing empty crisp packets to help create sustainable football pitches. In doing so, it hopes to unite communities and drive positive outcomes for people and the planet.

Kia, a UEFA Europa League sponsor, has renewed its support for children in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. In three seasons, the Kia-backed campaign has donated 3,000 pairs of football boots to children in the camp

In spring 2020 and 2021, H&M launched an initiative aimed at encouraging children to stay active by promoting access to sport for all. To support young players around the world and keep them active, H&M donated to the UEFA Foundation for Children some of the proceeds from the sale of a special football shirt collection for children over two, two-week periods. Their donation helped finance emergency action linked to COVID-19, such as the distribution of food and other essentials, health products and medical aid by 13 of our other partners.

For the second consecutive year, adidas agreed to donate 700 packs containing balls and all the other equipment needed to organise a training session, to support UEFA Foundation for Children projects all over the world.

FedEx supported EURO 2020 by transporting materials between the stadiums and our partners in the host cities, local football clubs, schools and children's charities. In total, almost 15 tonnes of materials were reused.

UEFA Foundation for Children 2020/21 Activity Report

To read the report in full and watch videos showcasing the UEFA Foundation for Children's projects, click here.

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UEFA Foundation and Lay’s team up to open new Brazilian pitch

UEFA Foundation and Lay’s team up to open new Brazilian pitch

Lay’s launch their 3rd community pitch in Sao Paulo created by reusing empty crisps packets that will benefit thousands of local people.

A community in Brazil has a brand-new football facility to enjoy thanks to the on-going collaboration between the UEFA Foundation for Children, UEFA Champions League partner Lay’s and the streetfootballworld network.

The new pitch was constructed by reusing empty crisp packets and is the third opened this year by the Lay’s RePlay program following the UK and South Africa, with more to come in 2022.

AC Milan and Brazil legend Cafu was at the opening of the Sao Paulo pitch this week, showing his skills alongside local children.

Cafu, former Brazil international and Lay’s RePlay ambassador:

"I had to fight hard on and off the field to be recognised around the world as a talented player. Football taught me how to celebrate victories, but it also gave me the strength to face life's obstacles. Sport is undoubtedly a way to promote social change, hence the relevance of projects like this led by Lay’s. It is this spirit that I want to convey to the young people who will participate in the activities, and I am proud to kick off this initiative."

Urs Kluser, General Secretary UEFA Foundation for Children

“Football is loved the world over and nowhere more so than in Brazil. Using the game’s popularity and this fantastic Lay’s RePlay initiative, we can offer young people in Sao Paulo the opportunity to learn vital lessons that will help them for the rest of their lives.”

How do you make a football pitch from crisp packets? 

In addition to promoting a positive impact on communities, Lay’s RePlay football pitches also minimise environmental impact. From the materials making the pitch to installation, the pitches are designed to be as environmentally sustainable as possible. Empty packets are collected from local waste by using recycling partnerships to give them a second life. The packs are washed, shredded and converted into pellets that form the underlying layer beneath the turf, called Ecocept™. Both the turf and Ecocept™ layer are 100% recyclable at the end of their life span.

Promoting positive change through sport

The Lay’s RePlay initiative was created in conjunction with the UEFA Foundation and streetfootballworld as an evolution from the pitches developed in the Za’atari and Azraq refugee camps in Jordan, which have provided access to sport for 35,000 people.

The programme promotes long-term positive social change through sport and education, using the power of football to promote social inclusion and teach essential life skills such as teamwork and fair play.

Through local partnerships in Brazil with love.fútbol and the EPROCAD Foundation, more than 100 young people will benefit directly from the initiative over the next 12 months, with more than 16,000 community members able to access the new pitch.

Suelen Cristina Souza, 15, EPROCAD Foundation student:

"What I like most about football is to play as a striker. To score a goal is a unique feeling for me! I feel that, here at the EPROCAD Foundation, inclusion is fundamental to the programme. To have girls and boys playing together has an impact on the lives and vision of the participants."

Wagner Mendes Dias, EPROCAD teacher and former student:

"I have no doubt that this field will generate a very important impact on the lives of our students because besides being beautiful, it is a space of impressive quality and structure.  The neighborhood residents and our students don't usually have access to a quality sports infrastructure like this. I am looking forward to the inauguration of this field, to teaching my classes there, and also being able to play together with the students and residents of the community as well."

 

I had to fight hard on and off the field to be recognised around the world as a talented player. Football taught me how to celebrate victories, but it also gave me the strength to face life's obstacles. Sport is undoubtedly a way to promote social change, hence the relevance of projects like this led by Lay’s. It is this spirit that I want to convey to the young people who will participate in the activities, and I am proud to kick off this initiative."

- Cafu, former Brazil international and Lay’s RePlay ambassador

Lay'sReplay pitch Sao Paolo
Lay's Replay pitch Sao Paolo
Lay's Replay pitch Sao Paolo
Lay's Replay pitch Sao Paolo

About PepsiCO

Project partner

Lay's Replay

PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers more than one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $70 billion in net revenue in 2020, driven by a complementary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker, Tropicana and SodaStream. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 23 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

Guiding PepsiCo is our vision to Be the Global Leader in Convenient Foods and Beverages by Winning with Purpose. "Winning with Purpose" reflects our ambition to win sustainably in the marketplace and embed purpose into all aspects of our business strategy and brands. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.

Foundation supports 67 humanitarian projects worldwide

Foundation supports 67 humanitarian projects worldwide

These new football projects will give even more children in need the promise of a better life.

Tuesday 30 November: The board of trustees, chaired by UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin, met to review recent projects and their impact and discuss the institution’s future. This session was attended by a special guest, the FC Seville striker Ivan Rakitić who is a UEFA Foundation for Children ambassador.

Ivan Rakitić said:

It has been an honour to be invited to participate to the UEFA Foundation board meeting, to meet its members, and to have the opportunity to be involved in discussions that will certainly change the life of many children around the world”.

The past year saw the complete resumption of football activities in the communities the foundation supports. By listening to our partners, we were able to adapt our assistance to the most pressing needs. Last season, 30 stadiums were built or renovated, 424 lots of equipment and 2,920 balls were donated to the host cities by the foundation along with 17 tonnes of material from UEFA EURO 2020 and other UEFA competitions for reuse by local football clubs and children’s charities.

One of the most anticipated agenda items was the selection of new projects following the call for submissions sent out during the summer. A total of 1,227 entries were eligible for shortlisting.

After careful review, 67 projects were chosen to share the total budget of €5,099,391, half of which was allocated to European projects and the remainder to other continents.

This year, it was decided to give special assistance to two projects supporting education in Afghanistan and to the NGOs helping the children stranded between Belarus and Poland.

The last few months have been difficult, and we have often had to respond to emergencies,” said Aleksander Čeferin. “Our foundation has more than ever an important social role to play by strengthening its support for the most vulnerable ones around the world. It enables European football to assume its social responsibilities and to lead by example in this area.”

List of projects approved by the board of trustees:

  • Europe: 30 projects
  • Africa: 13 projects
  • Americas: 11 projects
  • Asia: 11 projects
  • Oceania: 1 project
  • Partnership with Lay’s: 1 infrastructure project

 

 

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UEFA Foundation for Children Board Meeting (30th November 2021) (10)

Emergency aid to refugees at the Belarusian-Polish border

Emergency aid to refugees at the Belarusian-Polish border

UEFA Foundation for Children will support NGO's providing help to these refugees

The situation on the Belarus-Polish border is a humanitarian disaster. These desperate people have lost everything and are being held hostage for reasons beyond their control. These people are being instrumentalised, mere political pawns, but they nevertheless and above all remain men, women and children. Some of them have already died in almost complete indifference, and the others are still in immense distress and struggling to survive.

For this reason, the UEFA Foundation for Children has decided to assist the NGOs working at the border to provide urgent relief aid to these refugees. We at UEFA and at UEFA Foundation for Children do our best to avoid politics, but it is our duty to help children, no matter where they are from, just as the UEFA Foundation does with other underaged refugees, such as in the Zaatari camp on the Jordanian-Syrian border or in Turkey and Greece for example.

 

This Polish interior ministry screengrab shows children behind the razor-wire fence

 

 

 

 

Lay’s RePlay opens Leicester football pitch from upcycled crisp packets

Walkers RePlay opens Leicester football pitch from upcycled crisp packets

In partnership with the UEFA Foundation for Children and NGO streetfootballworld, PepsiCo, a long-standing UEFA Champions League partner, has launched this global initiative to transform empty crisp bags into sustainable football pitches

Football fans in Leicester now have access to a brand-new five-aside football pitch, which has been constructed from upcycled crisp packets. The facility, which is located at New Parks Community Hub in the city, is part of the Lay’s RePlay global project and will provide a hub for local football players driving positive change by offering educational sports programmes, mental health workshops, employability interventions and football fitness sessions.  

The pitch in Leicester follows on from the inaugural facility, which was constructed in Tembisa, near Johannesburg, in June with local footballing legend Lucas Radebe. Further pitches in Russia, Turkey and Brazil will be constructed in due course.  

 “We know a passion for football can last a lifetime and thanks to the Lay’s RePlay initiative we’ll be able to preserve the magic of football and give hope to those in the Leicester community who need it most. Together we have created a hub to inspire young people and teach them the values of respect, discipline and teamwork,” said the General Secretary of the UEFA Foundation for Children, Urs Kluser. 

Each playing surface is created with a shock-absorbing layer called Ecocept™, which is formed when reclaimed crisp packs are converted into rubberized pellets. (For South Africa, more than three million chip packages were used to create the pitch.) Both the turf and the Ecocept™ layer are 100% recyclable, with each pitch producing up to 128 tons fewer greenhouse gas emissions than a standard synthetic pitch.  

Our initiative places a strong emphasis on including community members and local organizations throughout the planning, construction, and maintenance phases of each pitch, with the goal to develop programming that can address social issues impacting each community. While fostering safe access to the sport, the pitches are designed to be as environmentally sustainable as possible”, said Luca Pogliaghi, PepsiCo Global Sports Marketing Sr Manager.  

 Lay’s RePlay also builds on PepsiCo’s longstanding partnership with the UEFA Champions League. The initiative grew out of a 2017 collaboration between Lay’s and the UEFA Foundation for Children that created three pitches in Jordan’s Za’atari and Azraq Refugee Camps, giving 35,000 people access to football. 

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Gary Lineker – Lay's RePlay ambassador, English former professional footballer and current sports broadcaste

25th anniversary of Youth Sports Games

25th anniversary of Youth Sports Games

Europe's largest amateur junior sports tournament in the spotlight

Aleksander Čeferin, Luis Figo, Darijo Srna, Johannes Hahn, Boban, Mijatović, Malouda, Maxwell Andrade, Hierro and Davor Božinović attended the quarter-century jubilee celebration of the Youth Sports Games.

Held in Split on 20 August, the commemoration kicked off with a ceremony at the Croatian Home, in the presence of long-time partners, friends and ambassadors of the event.

Special awards for long-term support and cooperation were given to Zoran Mamić, the supervisory board president of Tommy d.o.o.; Zoran Bogdanović, the chief executive officer of Coca-Cola HBC; Predrag Mijatović, the ambassador of the Youth Sports Games; Johannes Hahn, the European budget and administration commissioner, for Ambassador of the Year 2020; and Aleksander Čeferin, the UEFA president, for Ambassador of the Year 2021.

“Sport connects, sport is love, sport is unique, sport earns the respect of all people, so a deep tribute to everything that the Youth Sports Games do. As long as I am the president of UEFA and the UEFA Foundation for Children, I will fully support the work of the games to the best of my ability,” said Aleksander Čeferin in his acceptance speech.

The guests were greeted by Ivica Puljak, the mayor of Split, and Davor Božinović, the vice-president of the Croatian government and minister of the interior. The ministry has been conducting a large educational campaign to prevent violence on sports fields in cooperation with the Youth Sports Games.

“The Youth Sports Games have given a new dimension to sports in Croatia. In these challenging times, it is important to occupy children and help them put aside their mobile phones and computers so that they embrace healthy lifestyles,” said Davor Božinović.

In his emotional speech, Zdravko Marić, the president of the Youth Sports Games, thanked everyone who contributed to the success of the event, saying: “We have been promoting tolerance, friendship, solidarity and fair play for a quarter of a century, and we hope that over these 25 years we have managed to pass these values on to many generations of young people in Croatia and the region.”

Zlatko Dalić, the head coach of the national team, Stipe Pletikosa, the former goalkeeper, and Marijan Kustić, the president of the Croatian Football Federation, also attended the ceremony.

The Youth Sports Games are involved in the Youth Sports Fair Chance project, which was also presented at the ceremony. The project fights against violence, racism, discrimination and intolerance in sport, with a total budget of €365,525, co-financed by the EU Erasmus+ programme.

After the official ceremony, the guests hurried to change into their football kits for a friendly match in Republic Square-Prokurative in Split’s oldest neighbourhood.

Football, a common passion

Young footballers from Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina who had taken part in the Youth Sports Games finals played against a team led by UEFA representatives: Aleksander Čeferin, Zvonimir Boban, Luis Figo, Florent Malouda, Maxwell Scherrer, along with the former Real Madrid player Fernando Hierro, the former Croatian national team players Darijo Srna and Mario Stanić, and others.

Tihomir Gudić, the executive director of the Youth Sports Games, and celebrated footballers Igor Tudor and Igor Angelovski coached the young athletes, while the star team was managed by Zdravko Marić, the president of Youth Sports Games, Martina Dalić, Podravka CEO and Davor Božinović, the Croatian vice-president.

Fulfilling the dream of playing with their idols was the biggest reward for the excited youngsters, who greatly impressed the stars. Justice on the pitch was overseen by Robert Rosetti, UEFA’s chief refereeing officer. The great atmosphere was heated up by the victory of the young athletes against the star team. The match was broadcast live for the citizens of Split and guests of the city in the fan zone on the Riva waterfront, along with an additional programme.

 

The closing ceremony was held on the Riva, where Aleksander Čeferin, Predrag Mijatović and Johannes Hahn presented awards to young Youth Sports Games ambassadors from Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The young athletes and guests were greeted by Ivica Puljak, the mayor of Split, Tomislav Družak, the state secretary of the ministry of tourism and sport and envoy Nikola Brnjac, the minister of tourism and sports, Zdravko Marić, and deputy prime minister Davor Božinović, who closed the 25th season of the games. Before the celebration cake, congratulations were sent via video link by many athletes, including Luka Modrić, Goran Ivanišević, Slaven Bilić, Edin Džeko and Dragan Stojković Piksi.

The beautiful night in Split ended with a big firework display and a concert by Sergej Ćetković.

 

About the Youth Sports Games

The Youth Sports Games are the largest amateur sports event in Europe. Over the past 25 years they have attracted more than two million youngsters. Every year, from January to August, they organise sports competitions in ten sports – such as the Tommy tournament in indoor soccer 2009, Coca-Cola Cup in football, HEP handball tournament, Croatian Post Cup tennis tournament, the Kinder street basketball tournament, beach volleyball, volleyball, table tennis and chess under the auspices of the International Chess Federation – along with a sports-educational event, the Telemach Sports Day.

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Sport without Stereotypes (SWOST)

Sport without Stereotypes (SWOST)

The UEFA Foundation for Children is supporting SWOST, an Erasmus+ project aimed at transforming mindsets at all levels of European sport by increasing awareness of gender stereotyping and discrimination.

To achieve its goal, SWOST is developing a range digital resources including a self-assessment tool and guidance for sports clubs and associations, to help them improve their gender-based behaviour, regulations and policies. 

The SWOST project is a broad collaborative effort, involving 11 organisations from 9 countries. Together their objectives are to:

  • Promote and increase male and female participation in sports typically considered to be for a particular gender, with a specific focus on younger people.
  • Empower and equip youngsters, by raising awareness of and uprooting gender stereotypes that may influence them and their families when choosing the sports they participate in.
  • Share experiences and highlight successes and best practice in the field of gender mainstreaming.
  • Create an online self-assessment tool to guide sports clubs and associations and direct users to a customised selection of other tools, good practices and resources from other countries or sectors, also to support those organisations’ networking and capacity building.
  • Monitor and improve the latest gender policies used by European sports associations and other SWOST beneficiaries.
  • Raise awareness of the homophobia and gender-based violence experienced in sports clubs.

 

SWOST project coordinator:

SWOST project partners:

   

 

 

 

Disclaimer

The European Commission's support for the production of this article does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.