Children participating in the Community Champions League organised by Club Brugge Foundation recently came together to engage in various activities ahead of the new season kicking off. The participants take part in the project, that is coordinated by the European Football for Development Network (EFDN) that highlights the key element of cultural understanding to generate and emphasise mutual respect while creating confidence and build strong relationships amongst young people in their communities.

At the Sport Vlaanderen (Sport Flanders) sport facilities in Brugge, foundation staff organised kick off activities ahead of the league beginning next week. The participants paid ode to the ongoing #Morethanfootball Action Weeks campaign celebrating and showcasing Community and Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes around Europe by clubs, leagues and FAs.

The Community Champions League is an EFDN project in partnership with nine community-engaged football clubs – NAC Breda, Feyenoord, Aberdeen, Chelsea, Club Brugge, Werder Bremen, Vålerenga, Ferencvaros and Benfica. It is a social street football competition where the participating teams win more points through exhibiting values of sport such as Fair Play, Fair Support and Volunteering in community activities than by winning the street football matches.

With the aim of promoting social integration through sport, the Community Champions League provides the opportunity for people from different cultures to come together to build relationships and friendships while breaking down barriers through the prevention of violence, racism and intolerance in grassroots sports and their communities. The children in the Club Brugge Foundation programme can be seen below donning kit from another EFDN project Show Racism the Red Card which is closely related to one of the aims of the Community Champions League – to tackle racism.

Project partners met last week to discuss the new season alongside other elements such as the point system, evaluation report and elaboration for the methodology, practitioners guide, questionnaires and website management. Clubs and foundations were also taken through content creation expectations and obligations regarding the various communication channels and dissemination of project updates. The bulk of the webinar was spent introducing them to a new monitoring and evaluation system – Upshot.

After months of competition, a winner will be announced on the final day, 5 May 2021. That team will earn the inaugural tag of Community Champions League Club Bruges Champion. Alongside that title, they will represent Club Brugge at the international Community Champions League Festival in 2021 against teams from the other participating foundations.