Only winners after 1st Football Works Festival
On the 13th June of 2019, the EFDN and Dutch Justice Department jointly organised the first ever Football Works Festival at De Karelskamp prison in Almelo, the Netherlands.
The Festival programme included a conference with experts and leaders in the field presenting and hosting workshops on programmes from across Europe that use football as a tool for offender rehabilitation, reintegration and employability. At the same time, 14 teams from all over Europe competed in a football tournament. Among the players were not only (former) participants in football based rehabilitation and employability programmes but also former professional players that call themselves “the rebels”.
EFDN and Dutch Justice Department welcome more than 50 attendees
Gerko Brink, Project Coordinator at the Dutch Justice Department, and our CEO Hubert Rovers welcomed the more than 50 attendees to the first Football Works Conference. “The Football Works Festival is a perfect platform to show good examples of resocialisation”, explained Brink. Rovers said that he hopes to create a sustainable platform of exchange on football and prisoners including professional and grassroots clubs.
As the first guest speaker, Pete Bell talked about his own experiences with the justice system in England and how he made it from being an inmate to his current work as a coach and mentor. Bell is an ex-offender and presented his new initiative ‘Step Out Stay Out’. “Football installs discipline, cohesion and teamwork. It got all the ingredients to make a difference”, explained Bell the impact of football on prisoners lives. Afterwards, Rosie Meek, a Professor of Psychology and founder of the Law School at Royal Holloway University of London, summarised her research on the impact of sports on prisoners. Her detailed and reliable recommendations were very interesting for attending practitioners. The last presentation before the lunch saw Yolanda Antin from Barça Foundation speaking about their inclusion programmes at minors and youth centres. She highlighted the positive outcomes of the programme like healthy habits, intercultural exchange and prevention of violence.
The second part of the Football Works Conference in Almelo began with the signing of a letter of intent. The Dutch Justice Department and several partners agreed to collaborate in the future in their work with detainees and ex-prisoners. Nico Kempf presented then the work of DFB-Stiftung Sepp Herberger. The foundation uses a holistic approach to support the resocialisation of young detainees. In the following presentation, David Dein and Hilton Freund talked about the development and methodology of the ‘Twinning Project’which is a successful initiative that brings prisons and football clubs together. Dein, the former vice-president of Arsenal FC and the FA, shared insights into his experiences that he made during visiting all 118 prisons in England and Wales. The last presentation was held by the initiative Dutch Cell Dogs that showed that not only football but also dogs can have a visible impact on the life of prisoners.
To conclude, the speakers and attendees had a group discussion. The experts and the participating organisations agreed on a further collaboration which will hopefully end up in a regular exchange and a sustainable benefit for prisoners in Europe. You can find all the presentations on our Online Learning Platform.
FC Emmen/PI Veenhuizen wins prison tournament
After the conference, the attendees had the chance to watch the final games of the prison tournament. 14 teams from across Europe competed the whole day for the trophies. Competing in the football tournament were teams from EFDN members AFC Ajax, Bohemians Foundation, Chelsea Foundation, FC Emmen, KAA Gent and Saints Foundation. The watching inmates from PI Almelo saw several spectacular goals and good quality football. Both semi-finals found their winners in exciting penalty shootouts. FC Emmen/PI Veenhuizen won the tournament by beating the team from the Bohemian FC Foundation. FC de Rebellen, a team of former professional football players, ended up 3rd. PI Almelo won the Human Football Table competition. The team from Heracles Almelo won the Fair Play prize. All the winners received their trophies from Ton Golstein, Director of the prison De Karelskamp.