Special Olympics Launch Faces of Football Online Hub

15 September 2020

Special Olympics Launch Faces of Football Online Hub

Special Olympics Europe Eurasia has launched its Faces of Football online platform ahead of its virtual campaign for European Football Week (EFW). The platform aims to fill some of the gaps that have been occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic necessitating difficult distancing protocols. Special Olympics seeks to ensure that their athletes continue to benefit form physical activity, the joy of competition, sense of inclusion, solidarity and community – even during a global pandemic.

The Faces of Football online hub creates an opportunity for Special Olympics footballers, coaches and supporters to participate in the annual EFW. It also represents one of the Special Olympics key strategic priorities, a step on the road towards completely digitising the movement. The idea is to give players from all 58 programmes represented on their map, right from Iceland to Tajikistan, the chance to once again feel part of something big. It also aims to give players a sense of belonging when they see their name and photo alongside competitors they have played against before.

“Our everyday heroes are the players who train hard, love the game, but will never play under the bright lights of  Old Trafford or the Bernabeu. Our everyday heroes are the coaches who volunteer and the parents and supporters who keep the dream of playing alive. They are not just a number. They are… The Faces of Football,” said. The European Football for Development Network (EFDN) will support Special Olympics Europe Euarsia’s European Football Week, and by extension the Faces of Football platform, during their #Morethanfootball Action Weeks that kicked off today through to October 11. EFDN members that implement programmes related to intellectual disabilities are encouraged to participate and invite programme participants, coaches and supporters to create their profiles.

The online Faces of Football hub allows Special Olympics players, coaches and supporters get involved in the European Football Week by setting up profiles and sharing their Faces of Football Card on social media to show their support. Within the hub is the Hall of Fame which is a gallery of profile pictures showing the names and programmes of every player, unified partner, supporter and coach involved in Faces of Football.

It allows one to filter content by programme and position and profile images with a country frame to be shared on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram automatically from the website. Similarly, one can download their card as a JPG and share it manually. The Profile Cards are automatically mapped to the Homepage in real-time showing the international picture of the Faces of Football. Once you a Faces of Football Card is created, one can click on the home page and also on the Hall of Fame to themselves in the lineup!

The Training Ground is another component of the hub with videos of football skills covering six categories and three levels delivered by Special Olympics coaches with English-subtitled videos. As one progresses through the skills videos and levels, they earn points for their programme helping them move up the League Table. Once training is finished, click on complete to update the profile card to win points for one’s team which can be shared on social media.

The League Table element is generated based on the number of profiles uploaded, proportionate to the programme and the number of players who take part. An individual represents their programme simply by taking part helping them to have as many supporters as possible making it easy to spread the word!

To register for Faces of Football visit specialolympicsfacesoffootball.com.


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