KAA Gent – shortlisted for the ECA CSR Award 2017
Recently, the ECA presented the shortlisted projects for the ECA Awards 2017. One of the 9 clubs nominated for the ‘Best Community and Social Responsibility Programme’ is EFDN member KAA Gent with the “Kaa Gent Neighbourhood Programme”.
Until the #ECAAward Ceremony on 4th September in Geneva, we will present each day one of the shortlisted projects to highlight the impact, the clubs and their foundations are having in their local communities.
Kaa Gent Neighbourhood Programme
When the club moved to the Ghelamco Arena in 2013, KAA Gent expressed the commitment to become a dedicated neighbour to the borough of Nieuw Gent-Steenakker, which is situated right next to the stadium. Nieuw Gent is an area of the city, which has to tackle social issues such as unemployment, poverty, bad housing, bad management of household waste and often mental health problems. Due to KAA Gent’s ambition of wanting to give back to community and its responsibility towards the city of Gent, the club is working towards building a better future for the borough of Nieuw Gent-Steenakker. The club and its foundation aim to accomplish this by working jointly with the inhabitants and with local organisations that are operating to improve lives in Nieuw Gent-Steenakker. KAA Gent uses its unique power to connect in favour of the neighbourhood near the KAA Gent football stadium.
- To strenghten the local community and the social integration of the inhabitants, by reinforcing self-esteem and citizenship values in Nieuw Gent-Steenakker.
- To improve and create a network of leisure time possibilities, owned and managed by the inhabitants of the neighbourhood Nieuw Gent-Steenakker.
- To create and support in cooperation new economic possibilities in the neighbourhood during a process of urban renewal in Nieuw Gent-Steenakker.
With the KAA Gent Neighbourhood programme the club and its foundation want to invest in the formation of sustainable activities and organisations in the economically disadvantaged neighbourhood of the KAA Gent’s stadium. The programme strengthens the self-esteem and citizenship values. Additionally, through our programme and the offered activities we actively aim to get the inhabitants involved in the neighbourhood, creating social cohesion and a sustainable social network.
The programme includes 5 action points:
- In January 2017, the community centre Bij Pino has opened its doors in the centre of the borough, it is managed by the KAA Gent Foundation and functions as an accessible meeting point for the inhabitants and local organisations of Nieuw Gent-Steenakker. The love for the blue white army, KAA Gent, bridges the differences between the people coming to the community centre.
- Delivery of neighbourhood sports and school sports initiatives such as the Buffalo Cup, which is a yearly 4 weeks school cup.
- Additionally, in cooperation, the club and foundation deliver on a weekly basis the Buffalo League.
- In January 2017, the Buffalo Dance Academy came to live, which is targeted at boys and girls and takes place in between the apartment buildings of Nieuw Gent, a problematic area of the borough.
- For people being 50 years and older, the club and foundation organises Walking Football sessions. Since 2016, the HT Gantoise Legends team exists, a programme delivered in cooperation with EFDN and 13 other European Football clubs.
Throughout all activities, the values of football and the power of KAA Gent are being used to strengthen and unite the neighbourhood. The inclusive character of our initiatives is the key success factor: we are one family, we are Buffalo!
However, it is not only KAA Gent that is active in the neighbourhood. Also the neighbourhood is active within KAA Gent – right in the football stadium. The Ghelamco Arena is an open stadium that is being used for local non-profit activities as among others education activities, neighbourhood meetings, games for school children. In this way, KAA Gent gives social return to the local community for everything the local community has already given to KAA Gent.