The Community Champions League project officially kicked-off in the last week of January 2019 and aims to increase social inclusion, physical activity and community engagement for young people who are between 7 to 15 years of age.
The Community Champions League is a project of the European Football for Development Network Foundation (EFDN) in partnership with nine community–engaged football clubs from the Netherlands, England, Scotland, Norway, Portugal Hungary, Belgium and Germany.
The programme follows the general objective of developing a new sport for good methodology that promotes voluntary activities through sport, together with social inclusion, equal opportunities and awareness of the importance of health-enhancing physical activity through increased participation in, and equal access to sport for all.
So far, 1,998 children have participated in Community Champions League activities. Among the participants were 32 children with disabilities. 31% of the participants were girls. Project partners have organised several workshops on first aid, mental health, coaching, fair play, upcycling, social inclusion and sustainability. The children supported their local communities by visiting the elderly at nursing homes, raising awareness of environmental issues and mental health and collaborating with social organisations and the local police.
MORE SPECIFICALLY, THE OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAMME ARE TO:
- Evaluate existing football for good methodologies
- Test and develop new innovative overarching Community Champions League methodology
- Educate young people and whole communities the positive values of sport
- Promote active participation in the community
- Promote football and sports in general as a force for good
- Raise awareness of the social power of sport to a wider audience
- Share project experiences and best practices
PARTNER ORGANISATIONS INCLUDE:
- Aberdeen FC Community Trust
- Club Brugge Foundation
- Chelsea FC Foundation
- Ferencvárosi TC
- Benfica Foundation
- NAC Breda
- Vålerenga Fotball
- SV Werder Bremen
- Feyenoord Rotterdam
THE ADDED VALUE REPORTED BY THE CLUBS
The introduction of the project to the project partners has already created added value in many cases. Additionally, everybody who is related to the programme believes that the project has a lot more to offer until its completion. Many of the clubs and community organisations are already planning to add this project within their CSR portfolio and will continue running it at their local level, after the end of this programme.
Based on the declarations of our project partners, below, you can see a list of the added value the programme has already offered:
- CC is considered as a new innovative way of engaging with young people, schools, parents and local communities
- It allows for strong relationships to be built between partners (Local & international)
- The rules, community contribution and workshops are already benefiting the schools and the community
- The project increases children’s physical activity
- It reduces the barriers for all to participate
- Increased development of sportsmanship across matches has influenced the behaviours of the children during matches but also helped with the development of soft skills such as resilience, empathy and teamwork, all of these skills can be taken into their everyday life within their community as well as during the project
- Coaches, team leaders and interns act as role models and encourage participants to eat healthily, show sportsmanship and coach them in how to behave professionally and socially
- New friendships are built between children
- Increased knowledge of the real values of sports and other topics discussed and analysed in workshops
- Students are continuing to promote a more equal game
- A greater sense of responsibility given to participants as they represent their schools/community
- Teams have an audience at the games which encourages more children to participate
- Students take part and show great commitment
Even though many objectives have already met at least at a certain level, the project has a lot more to offer. Until the completion of the project, EFDN and all of the partnering clubs expect to achieve all the set objectives and even go beyond.
You can find more information about the Community Champions League project here.