The boys and girls of Cañada Real recently been given access cards for the local sports facilities as part of Red Deporte’s sports programme in the area. This initiative has three main objectives. The first and most important is to encourage the children to identify with those facilities and that sports programme, which aims to improve social and educational integration through sporting activities.
The second objective is to improve the organisation of sports activities, avoiding situations where children of very different ages are playing in the same team. During one particular match at a recent football tournament organised by Red Deporte for 13 and 14-year-olds, a significantly older player took to the field late in the game, having a decisive impact on a hitherto evenly balanced match. At that age, two years can make a big difference in terms of height and weight, so teams with an older player in their ranks will find it much easier to score goals or keep a clean sheet. For this reason, the children’s access cards indicate their age category, keeping different age groups apart for both tournaments and training alike.
Last but not least, the third objective is to promote respect for the rules of those sports facilities and the sports programme in general. When children are given their access cards, they are also given a set of basic rules, which they are expected to abide by and promote. In the event of serious or repeated infringements of those rules, access cards can be withdrawn, temporarily limiting those children’s use of the facilities. On the back of the card is a reminder of the most basic requirement – the obligation to respect other people, the facilities themselves and the community of Cañada. The card also indicates basic rights enjoyed by its holder – the right to have fun playing football and the right to access better education through sport. The access card was introduced for the first time in Cañada
Red Deporte’s sports programme in Cañada is supported by streetfootballworld and the UEFA Foundation for Children.