#Morethanfootball Action Day – Social Cohesion
Today is the International Day for Sport for Development and Peace! We would like to congratulate and celebrate with all CSR-Managers, project leaders, coaches, teachers, volunteers, players and beneficiaries the social power of football.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult to gather as friends, for teams and fans to compete, play and cheer together. It has taken a toll on individuals, societies, organisations and economies. Measures put in place to defeat the pandemic have touched every aspect of our lives, including sport. But sport itself can help play a role in building resilience and in the recovery from the pandemic. It can help in the effort to build back better to a more resilient and equitable world.
Sport can help promote fairness, teambuilding, equality, inclusion and perseverance. Sport and physical activity can also help us get through times of crisis, like COVID19, by reducing anxieties and improving physical and mental health. Professional sport also provides employment and income to many people around the world and an integral sector to the economic success of many communities and regions.
The 6th of April marks also our #Morethanfootball Action Day on Social Cohesion. The ongoing pandemic demonstrates that solidarity and social cohesion are very important to overcome massive challenges and support especially vulnerable groups. We would like to highlight just a few of recent initiatives that promote social cohesion and serve as examples of how football organisations stepped up during these tough times.
Everton in the Community
Everton in the Community has recorded its highest-ever annual revenue, enabling the official charity of Everton Football Club to provide support to more than 45,000 individuals and families over the last 12 months. The charity has continued to deliver its 40+ programmes, which focus on a wide range of social issues prevalent across Merseyside, such as mental health, education, homelessness, unemployment, poverty and disability, despite the challenges created by COVID-19.
FC Twente celebrated 10 years of their “Talking About Football” project for seniors this year. It is an initiative of FC Twente ‘Scoring in the Community’. While enjoying a cup of coffee, there is only one topic of conversation: football. It yields wonderful stories and anecdotes but also many friendships. 10 years ago, the idea arose to use FC Twente as a connecting link to reach lonely seniors and those with a limited social network.
With its programme GotowiDoPomocy (Got to Help), Legia Foundation is implementing a comprehensive aid campaign in Warsaw providing real, direct help to seniors during the coronavirus outbreak. During the first stage of the programme, seniors could use a specially prepared hotline through which they could order free meals, get help with shopping, get technological assistance and psychological help. During the first 49 days of the campaign the foundation managed to help almost 2,500 seniors by providing and financing over 32,000 meals. Since June, the second stage of the programme has been carried out, covering a narrower group of the most needy seniors. Currently there are 43 beneficiaries from all over Warsaw under the constant care of the Legia Foundation.
Welcome Through Football at FC Emmen
The Welcome Through Football programme is a collaborative initiative of several EFDN members including SL Benfica, Everton FC and Werder Bremen. The goal is to introduce children to the values of FC Emmen and Dutch society by using football training. Values such as respect and discipline are discussed while having fun and making friends. The 12-week football project at the AZC in Emmen ended successfully. 25 young asylum seekers participated in the football project in which they got familiar with the Dutch society and FC Emmen.
Over the past year, the pandemic has had its toll on many local families who were already at risk of poverty, social isolation or poor mental health. Thanks to over 2,000 supporters the charity rose to the challenge and supported three times more people in need than ever before! The shirts from thie game v Queen of the South are up for auction with all proceeds going to support their work in the community.
Interview Matt Parish
We spoke with Matt Parish, CEO at LFC Foundation, about their COVID-19 community response, the relationship between supporters and the foundation, funding and partnerships, and why LFC Foundation is #Morethanfootball. Read the full interview here.
IDEAS FOR #MORETHANFOOTBALL ACTIVITIES:
- Highlight your project that tries to change the world by using sport
- Educate your supporters on the values on peace, solidarity and respect
- Engage in acts of kindness and solidarity
- Raise awareness of why peace and sport for development are important
- Promote your COVID-19 response
- Share resources that could be useful to alleviate your supporters’ emotional distress or to provide ideas for working out at home
- Show your players, staff or coaches staying active and supporting the local community
Please use #morethanfootball and feel free to tag our #Morethanfootball social media accounts so we can share your posts and activities.