EITC’S WELCOME THROUGH FOOTBALL PROGRAMME’S AMAZING MATCHDAY EXPERIENCE

4 May 2022

EITC’S WELCOME THROUGH FOOTBALL PROGRAMME’S AMAZING MATCHDAY EXPERIENCE

Asylum seekers and refugees from Everton in the Community’s Welcome through Football programme had a special match-day experience at Goodison Park thanks to the club’s Main Partner, Cazoo.

Cazoo, supporters of the club’s official charity through its Goals for Good campaign – donated its executive box to members of the programme, who enjoyed a three-course pre-match meal together before watching Everton v Leicester from the Main Stand.

“This has been one of the greatest days of my life. To be invited to this special match that has so much significance to the club right now was such an honour for me. To be so close to the pitch and speak with some of the players was truly amazing. I am forever grateful for this opportunity and consider myself an Evertonian for life for the very kind gesture that I will never forget!”

Omid Razaai, Welcome through Football participant

Johnnie Garside, Health and Wellbeing Manager at Everton in the Community, said:

“This experience gave a massive sense of pride to our participants who have been through very challenging times. They have been welcomed by our residents and through our football programmes and this is what EitC is all about – reaching out to those who are vulnerable, at risk or marginalised and giving them an opportunity to come closer to the club.”

Throughout April, as part of Amnesty International Football Welcomes Month, football clubs across the UK celebrate the contribution that players from a refugee background make to the game. Football Welcomes helps to showcase how football can bring people closer together and help provide a sense of belonging.

Everton in the Community’s Welcome Through Football Programme, delivered in partnership with the European Football Development Network and funded by the UEFA Foundation for children, provides inclusive football and social enrichment sessions to refugees and asylum seekers residing in the city.

The programme uses football as an engagement tool to help break down cultural barriers; creating a safe and welcoming environment for refugees and asylum seekers to play football together. The project delivers weekly football training sessions, football competitions and provides a range of social and educational enrichment opportunities to help individuals to learn more about what support is available to them.

WELCOME THROUGH FOOTBALL

Welcome Through Football is an EFDN initiative. Current projects across Europe receive funding from the Eramus+ programme of the European Union and the UEFA Foundation for Children.

The Welcome Through Football 2021 project aims to assist in the integration and inclusion of recently arrived young refugees, asylum seekers and young people with a migrant background. EFDN and partners will develop and test a European methodology that uses football as a tool to reach refugees and migrants from different ages (7-25 years old) to get them physically and social active in European communities.

Moreover, the project assists football coaches and youth workers in the development and sharing of effective methods in reaching out to the marginalised target group, in preventing racism and intolerance.

WELCOME THROUGH FOOTBALL HAS A 3 STEP PROCESS, WHICH IS:

  1. Socialisation to sports – providing different football offerings for young refugees of both genders related to their specific requirements such as language skills or the possibility of trauma.
  2. Socialisation in sports – working on team structure, giving more responsibility to the participants and offering additional steps out with the sports training sessions.
  3. Socialisation through sports – Focusing on the skills the participants learn from taking part in the available offers so that they qualify for further education in and outside of sports

FUNDING PARTNERS

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGS)

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 ...