EFDN Interviews

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EFDN Interviews

EFDN have launched a new feature whereby each week, an EFDN Interview with a football CSR-practitioner will be published.

As the world is experiencing a global pandemic, the latest EFDN Interviews include several questions about how each club, trust or organisation are dealing with the current COVID-19 crisis.

In each EFDN Interview, the CSR-professionals have shared their thoughts and advice on how to stay safe, healthy and fit, during this difficult time. In addition to, how they are #Morethanfootball, including discussions centred around both the interviewees’ personal and their organisations’ CSR goals for 2020 and the near future.

The interviews have featured CSR-professionals such as:

Michael Colquhoun Head of Community Welfare and Inclusion at Burnley FC in the Community

“Our aim is to ensure student’s well-being is being met, and it has never been so important with the current challenges we face related to Covid-19 and sustained periods of lockdown. We have become a crucial and integral part of each school’s staffing base.” – Read the full interview. 

Bálint Máté– International Project Manager at Ferencvárosi TC

“Our Club’s #1 priority is to inspire and educate its own community and a broader audience of society, even other clubs and sports organisations through its activities and programmes. We intend to serve as a benchmark and hope that we can inspire others. As the most popular multisport club of Hungary, with 2 million+ domestic supporters, that’s our responsibility.” Read the full interview. 

Harm Oppers– Sportcoach at PSV Foundation

“Everyone in society is important, everyone counts. We as PSV Foundation realise this in the Eindhoven region.” Read the full interview.

Peter Davidson– Chief Executive at Montrose Community Trust

“We must merely use the appeal and connecting power of football to maintain contact and assist those that have come to rely on us. We have a responsibility to put our standing in the community to very good use in supporting and saving lives. Nothing matters more.” Read the full interview.

Yolanda AntinCoordinator of Partnerships and Collaborations at Barça Foundation

“In my opinion, clubs and foundations of football clubs have shown a solid commitment to local and global communities, and this compromise has become even stronger since the very beginning of the epidemic.” Read the full interview.

Nuno Costa– Executive Secretary at Fundação Benfica

“Our Marketing team created about the COVID-19 crisis and the concept was essentially that “it’s when football stops that we prove that we are much more than a football team”. The script mentioned as well that for a major crisis like this it was called the best team to play – Benfica Foundation. So, the Club’s social responsibility is deeply integrated on the Club’s history, culture and strategy and allows us all to really feel that it’s so much more than football.” Read the full interview.

Galder Reguera– Projects Manager at Athletic Club Fundazioa

“Athletic Club’s greatest strength, what makes it strong, is its people. Unlike other clubs, we play with home-grown players and this makes the bond between the fans and the club stronger. The passion for Athletic is something that transcends football, it touches every aspect of everyday life.” Read the full interview.

Greg Baker – Head of Saints Foundation

“I, like most people, have been really impressed by the renewed community spirit that has developed during this pandemic, and football clubs and the respective Foundations have played a huge role in that.” Read the full interview.

Henrik Oesau– International Project Manager at Werder Bremen

“In Bremen, the people say “Werder is Bremen is Werder”. That means that the club and the city are connected inseparably. The citizens of Bremen are very tolerant and have a very good sense for the community. The people are used to support each other – and Werder Bremen – if needed. Werder Bremen with its supporters is a reflection of its city. That is why Werder Bremen supports the city where needed and that is why Werder Bremen is #morethanfootball.Read the full interview. 

Sarah Medcalf– Deputy Head of Newcastle United Foundation

“We are proud to utilise the power of football across the coaching, mentoring, education and opportunities that we provide to communities in the region that truly need them; but our professional staff and volunteers are both multi-skilled and highly attuned to the wider requirements of the many thousands of people that we are able to support each day across the North East.” Read the full interview. 

Thomas Buchanan– Business Development Executive at Celtic FC Foundation 

“As Celtic FC Foundation’s bid writer, my principal objective is to identify and pursue grant funding streams, allowing the organisation to expand and diversify our project activity. Bidding processes are extremely competitive, often requiring several weeks – even months – of meticulous working to develop a capable submission to a prospective grant funder.” Read the full interview.

Inna KhmyzovaDirector of Shakhtar Social Foundation

“Shakhtar Social main goal is to give access to football for every child in Ukraine. In this respect, for us, it’s important to restart training sessions of ‘Come On, Let’s Play’. And we still aim to develop the project tough out the country and attract more partners who share our ideas.” Read the full interview.

Iñigo Diaz de CerioProject Manager at Real Sociedad Fundazioa

“On the one hand, we want to increase the direct impact in helping to improve people’s lives and, on the other hand, we want this objective to be implemented in all areas of the club and to be an objective of Real Sociedad and not only of its Foundation.” Read the full interview.

Pierre Van der Veken – Project Coordinator at KAA Gent Foundation

“I think that every programme that we run is a quality programme, because of the dedication of our staff and the involvement of our partners. We’ve set up different sport for development programmes: a dance school, a programme for toddlers, kids and youngsters, our community hub.” Read the full interview. 

Tomas Abreu – Marketing & Partnerships Manager at Brentford FC Community Sports Trust 

“The main important aspect is to think about a fun and engaging theme for a fundraising initiative, easy to attract and encourage as many people as possible to join the cause, with the main aim of making a positive difference towards a specific cause.” Read the full interview. 

Wessel Verhaar – Sports & Health team leader at Feyenoord Rotterdam 

In my opinion, the Feyenoord Street League, which is part of EFDN’s Community Champions League, is our most successful programme. When Feyenoord’s first team has an away game, approximately 400 children represent their neighbourhood in a competition on local public sport facilities in the Feyenoord Street League. The main objective is increasing sport participation, but it is not the only one.” Read the full interview.

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