EFDN Interview- Nuno Costa from Fundação Benfica

12 May 2020

EFDN Interview- Nuno Costa from Fundação Benfica

The next EFDN Interview features Nuno Costa who is the Executive Secretary at Fundação Benfica. 

In 2008, Nuno completed an Executive Masters in Football Management and Leadership at UAL. In addition to this, he completed a Postgraduate Course in Social Responsibility at UAL as well as a Postgraduate Course in Social Administration at ISSSL.  After completing his studies at the ISCTE, Nuno also holds an Economics License Degree and a Masters in Social Economy.

Alongside completing his studies, Nuno carried out an internship as a psychologist for Mundos de Vida. And, after, worked as a Youth Team psychologist for SC Salgueiros. Today, Nuno works as the Executive Secretary at Fundação Benfica, alongside, working as a Project Coordinator for the Foundation, since 2009.

EFDN: What is a typical day in your role like? What do you love the most about working for the club/foundation?

I’m working now within the areas of management, partnerships & networking, communication, humanitarian aid and some of our inclusion through sport projects. Although it’s very focused at the office and linking with many different stakeholders it allows me as well to experience the reality which always helps us to improve our strategies and projects towards success.

EFDN: What are the main target areas of your foundation?

At the beginning, we were very focused on educational projects with young people using football and other sports as a tool for their development. Now we have after 11 years of activity a wide range of different projects such as Walking Football, Show Racism the Red Card, Environmental projects, Humanitarian aid initiatives and many other strategic projects where we can make a positive impact.

EFDN: Can you please tell us more about your Walking Football programme?

In 2016 we knew nothing about the sport and we are very grateful to get to know it through EFDN and PSV – special thanks to Hubert Rovers, Martyn Rijkhoff and Harm Oppers. Now we have the sport very disseminated nationwide with over 35 teams through a partnership with our national Senior Universities Network. It has been a huge success with many regional tournaments and a final event throughout each season.

EFDN: What is the foundation’s most successful programme? Can you please explain in more detail what the project is about, including the projects main aims and objectives and the impact this programme has had, within the community?

I can’t say that it was the most successful programme, but I must mention the support we gave to Mozambique after the Idai Cyclone where we raised over 130 tons of food and delivered it personally in Mozambique. It was a very special experience for me because we provided basic needs on a time of great crisis. Knowing for instance that families walked for many kilometres to reach to our packs of food was overwhelming. Or statements like “food doesn’t weight” when apparently very fragile persons carried themselves the heavy packs to their homes. Although all the value we know we have in all our other projects I’ll remember this experience forever.

EFDN: What kind of initiatives are you currently delivering to help to overcome the COVID 19 crisis?

Taking in consideration the overall Club’s, players, Foundation and other areas we can say that we: transmitted much useful information through our media; donated to our national health system different supplies such as ventilators, masks, protective suits, etc. with a value of over 1 Million Euros; donated over 5 tons of food to the social institution that delivers meals to the homeless of Lisbon and were in severe difficulties to keep their daily activity; gave nearly 3.000 food packs to a police force that have identified the most vulnerable isolated elderly and visits them on a regular basis so this extra support on a time of crisis is critical; and partnered with a national movement recognized by OECD as an innovative solution by mobilizing society to raise computers with a goal to help students on this new context of learning at distance and reducing the difficulties on the access to a proper education – the movement is Tech4Covid19 and the project – Student Keep.

EFDN: What makes the role of clubs and their foundation’s so important during this crisis?

Since we have a very special connection with the citizens we have a mandatory responsibility to take action by involving them, by positively communicating with society, by sharing all the useful messages official entities have in a time of crisis, etc. We must indeed act as social partner highly connected with the official entities. Furthermore, Clubs and their Foundations can establish themselves initiatives that aim to achieve the goals required for the nation or the local community depending on the size and reach of the Club either through their own resources, in partnership or both.

EFDN: How do you stay safe, healthy and fit? Do you have any tips or advice?

SL Benfica quickly acted towards the pandemic by keeping at the Stadium only the colleagues strictly necessary. All the other employees have been working since March from home. This context improved by far our chances to stay safe. Afterwards, the Human Resources Department have been continuing to do great work, creating different kinds of webinars in many different subjects such as nutrition, physical activity, mental health, familiar budget management, and so on. Either by mobilizing colleagues with the know-how to deliver the webinars or activating some partners it has been very useful all the tips provided by the different speakers.

EFDN: What are your (foundation’s) goals for 2020 and the near future?

As explained we have already a wide range of projects. Our goals for 2020 will strongly depend on the development of the COVID-19 crisis that will influence the kind of work we can or cannot deliver. However, we are sure we’ll keep a close attention to this pandemic and act wherever our resources and know-how can be of an added value.

EFDN: EFDN believes that Football is #More than Football. Why do you think your foundation is #morethanfootball?

I can illustrate this strong belief through a video our Marketing team created about the COVID-19 crisis and the concept was essentially that “it’s when football stops that we prove that we are much more than a football team”. The script mentioned as well that for a major crisis like this it was called the best team to play – Benfica Foundation. So, the Club’s social responsibility is deeply integrated on the Club’s history, culture and strategy and allows us all to really feel that it’s so much more than football.

EFDN: To whom would you like to #passiton too, and why? Please choose another CSR-practitioner within or related to our network. You can even suggest a CSR topic for them to use as a starting point.

Henrik Oesau, CSR Manager, SV Werder Bremen – Topic can the Welcome through Football project, that we recently joined.

You can learn more about Fundação Benfica here.

Have at look at other EFDN Interviews and follow #EFDNInterview on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn for the newest updates.


Show Racism the Red Card

In collaboration with network members Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, Chelsea FC Foundation, Club Brugge Foundation, Inter Campus, ...

Para ti Se nao faltares

“Para ti Se não faltares!” is an intervention project that aims to tackle school dropout rates and ...