Steef (70) experiences Almere City’s historic debut in the Dutch Eredivisie

28 August 2023

Steef (70) experiences Almere City’s historic debut in the Dutch Eredivisie

On Sunday 13 August, Almere City FC did not enter the Eredivisie alone. The flags were carried, during the opening ceremony, by lonely elderly people who had been picked up by students from the local student union. 70-year-old Steef experienced this historic moment along the sidelines of his favourite Eredivisie club.

A SPECIAL DAY

Steef is a big fan of Almere City. He has been following the club closely since he moved to Almere 30 years ago. Three years ago, on the advice of his doctor, Steef moved into a care home. The move makes the world of the once sporty and hardworking man, become a lot smaller. Steef began to feel lonely and confined.

The fact that Steef can be present at Almere’s first Eredivisie match is a huge moment of happiness for him. During the opening ceremony, he proudly carries the flag across the pitch and, together with student Ciara, he watches Danny Post shoot in the first ever Eredivisie goal for Almere City FC.

โ€œAs a footballer, you sometimes forget that there are people who are very lonely. That really does something to you.โ€

Danny Post, Captain Almere City

ALL ROUTINES GATHER

Loneliness among the elderly is a major social issue. As many as one in ten elderly people feel very lonely and receive visits only once a month.

Almere City’s ‘All routines gather’ project aims to combat loneliness among the elderly. Every home game, elderly people are invited to come and watch the game for free at the Yanmar Stadium. Students from the local student union, pick up the elderly in vans and drop them off in front of the stadium’s main entrance. In the stands, they are provided with snacks and drinks, to then be brought back home safely after the match as well. In this way, people who are normally unable (or no longer able) to visit a match themselves can still have an enjoyable day.

FOOTBALL GIVES

Together with the 18 Eredivisie clubs and social partner VriendenLoterij (Friends Lottery), the Eredivisie is committed to making a positive impact on society every day by working towards a healthier, more inclusive and stronger society. The Football Gives video series reflects on the impact Eredivisie clubs have in society and what this can mean for an individual.

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