EFDN Highlights: November 2021

30 December 2021

EFDN Highlights: November 2021

As 2021 comes to an end, EFDN invites you to look back on this year’s top activities, projects and news stories. Take a look at some highlights from the 16th EFDN Conference in November, the biggest gathering of CSR experts in European football and the first one ever held online.

FIRST EFDN SPECIAL CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Ten teams, bringing more than 100 kids, coaches, and fans from all over Europe, came to Breda to meet each other in the First Edition of the EFDN Special Champions League. At this first ever event participated the young stars of SL Benfica from Portugal, Everton FC from England, Bohemian FC Dublin (Ireland), Bayer 04 Leverkusen and SV Werder Bremen (Germany), Inter Campus Kraków (Poland) and three Dutch clubs: FC Emmen, Excelsior Rotterdam and two teams of N.E.C. Nijmegen. The youngsters then showed the best of themselves, shining in a Champions League setting and scoring as great goals as the professional players in the ‘real’ tournament. Apart from that they also had great fun on the Human Football Table. And at the end of the day we only had winners!

16TH EFDN CONFERENCE

The 16th Edition of the EFDN Conference, this time with ‘Purpose & Sustainability’ as the theme, has been officially opened on November 8th, at the historic town hall of Breda, the Netherlands. EFDN Conferences are the largest gatherings of Community and Social Responsibility (CSR) experts in European professional football. After two online events, the international network members could finally meet each other again in person, although the conference remains a hybrid event, with also online participants.

Big Hearts Community Trust, the foundation of Heart of Midlothian, has won the More than Football Award 2021 powered by Musco Lighting for their project ‘The Big Hearts Supporters’ Movement’. The winner was announced during a gala ceremony in the Big Church of Breda, one of the venues of the 16th EFDN Conference. The initiative of Big Hearts received the most votes of the EFDN Members. The goal of the More than Football Award is to honour the best social initiatives in Europe delivered by a European Club, League or FA.

TACBIS and Scoring for Health Project Meetings

Finally, the TACBIS project partners were able to meet each other again in person at the Rat Verlegh Stadion in Breda, the Netherlands. TACBIS is a pan-European project composed of 7 project partners, Colour Blind Awareness, Portugal FA, Romania FA, Randers FC, Iceland FA and Oxford Brookes University including the European Football for Development Network. The aim of the project is to make the sport more inclusive for people with a colour vision deficiency. This meeting was the opportunity to talk about the project and the Colour-Blind Awareness Day 2021 that took place on the 6th of September 2021. As you may know, each year, the 6th of September aims to raise awareness about this topic and to highlight issues related to kit clashes for example.

Scoring For Health partners had the opportunity to meet in person in Breda, the Netherlands. EFDN’s programme ‘Scoring for Health’ aims to tackle the problem of childhood obesity which, as identified by the World Health Organisation, is still a critical issue throughout Europe today. With the underlying target of promoting a healthy diet and lifestyle amongst children, their families and wider communities across Europe, the programme supports the 3rd UN Sustainable Development Goal of Good Health and Well Being and is co-funded by the European Union. During the meeting, the project partners have discussed all aspects of the programme including the delivery. With the coronavirus, we also needed to talk about potential ideas that could help to deliver this project even with less contact with its beneficiaries. Besides, clubs have presented their current work to their communities highlighting their communication and their results.

EFDN ROBOT FLOOR MAKES ITS DEBUT IN DUTCH STADIUMS

On Sunday, November 7th, EFDN Robot Floor made its debut in the Dutch Eredivisie. While the Awabot robot was present on the sideline of De Kuip stadium in Rotterdam, two young fans, physically unable to attend the match Feyenoord-AZ, followed the game through a laptob at their home. The EFDN Florence programme will now be further enrolled in the stadiums of the 19 Dutch EFDN members acting in the Eredivisie and Keuken Kampioen Divisie. The EFDN Florence programme will provide ill children and young people with the opportunity to become the FAN of the Match from a distance. This initiative will see the robot drive onto the pitch together with the players making it possible for a fan who cannot attend the match due to illness to join the warming-up, line-up, watch the game from the sidelines and join the players after the game during their lap of honour.

INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

While pervasive, gender-based violence is not inevitable. It can and must be prevented. Stopping this violence starts with believing survivors, adopting comprehensive and inclusive approaches that tackle the root causes, transform harmful social norms, and empower women and girls. With survivor-centred essential services across policing, justice, health, and social sectors, and sufficient financing for the women’s rights agenda, we can end gender-based violence.

At SV Werder Bremen home matches at the wohninvest WESERSTADION, people who feel harassed or threatened will in future be able to contact the staff discreetly and directly with the help of the prevention project “Do you know MIKA?”. The campaign will be presented on the occasion of the “International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women” and will be effective for the first time for the duel with Erzgebirge Aue. Other EFDN members have taken to social media to share their messages against gender-based violence:

Member News

On Thursday, 25th of November, OFI Crete released a video, in which five of their football players, sent a strong message against any form of violence.

Brentford’s first ever Premier League Home kit is to get an extended life as the club can confirm they will continue to wear their current red and white striped home kit again next season. 

New Members

In November 2021, new members FC Akron Togliatti and Falkirk FC Foundation joined the network.

Projects

Maccabi Netanya FC – Equal in Sports

The main idea of this program is that every person with a disability (any) will be able to ...

Maccabi Netanya FC – Bet Elazarki Children’s home

Bet Elazarki’s children’s home serves over 200 at-risk children of all ages. Many of the children were ...