The 8th EFDN ‘Morethanfootball’ Conference at Lisbon, a great success!

27 March 2017

The 8th EFDN ‘Morethanfootball’ Conference at Lisbon, a great success!

On 21st and 22nd of March, the 8th EFDN ‘More than Football’ Conference took place. The event was hosted at the iconic Estadio da Luz, by the SL Benfica Foundation.

EFDN was grateful to welcome over 80 delegates at the conference among them were representatives of the Scottish Football League Trust, the German Bundesliga, Swedish Football League, Belgium ProLeague and the English Premier League. The event provided many opportunities for all participants to share experiences to network and to gain insight into a variety of aspects surrounding the conference’s theme ‘More than football’.

Current challenges and new opportunities in the field of Community and Social Responsibility in European football were discussed and inspiring presentations were given by the Premier League Charitable Fund, Inter Campus, Everton in the Community, Vitesse Arnhem, Benfica Foundation, SV Werder Bremen, AC Milan, KAA Gent, Special Olympics Europe, the Dutch digital media agency Fingerspitz and Feyenoord Rotterdam.

The topics of the presentations, breakout sessions, roundtables and practical sessions were very diverse. Alex White, senior executive of the Premier League Charitable Fund provided the delegates with an understanding of the Premier League Communities Strategy and an insight into the work of professional football clubs in England to inspire and connect with local and global communities.

Inter Campus focused on the fascinating model of their Corporate Social Responsibility programme that supports social-religious-racial equality worldwide, with a specific focus on Children’s Rights.

An inspiring and encouraging presentation was also delivered by Phillip Duffy, Executive Director of Everton in the Community. The presentation addressed the power of sport and its ability to shape the game off the pitch for the benefit of its fans, its communities and the wider society. Phillip Duffy exemplified during his presentation how Everton in the Community brings to life the values and traditions of a great football club out on the streets and in the homes of those, who are experiencing challenges in their lives.

The break out session of Jaap Jacobs, managing director of the Dutch digital marketing company Fingerspitz, dealt with a very different sector and topic. Jaap Jacobs gave the attendees answers to the questions ‘How to get the most out of social media’ and provided therefore relevant communication expertise.

Next to presentations, the conference included a practical session given by Inter Campus and an inspiring Walking Football training session, including a match against the Walking Football team of the SL Benfica Foundation. The SL Benfica Foundation also invited all delegates to two different study visits, where the representatives got an impression of the foundation’s CSR programmes.

Besides featuring fantastic speakers, inspiring practical sessions and many possibilities for shaping the future of CSR in sport, the 8th EFDN conference functioned as the inauguration event of the #Morethanfootball Action Week.

The #Morethanfootball Action week was kicked off by Hubert Rovers, CEO of the European Football for Development Network, together with Patrick Gasser, Senior CSR Manager at UEFA. As part of the launch, the official #Morethanfootball video was released and unique Action Week footballs were signed and handed out.

With a great thanks to SL Benfica for their commitment and hospitality in hosting the 8th EFDN Conference. We also would like to thank all delegates and speakers, who contributed to the success of the event.


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