WAY TO PLAY
Three halves, no refs: football3 is a different way to play.
With a focus on fair play, equality and teamwork, it empowers young people with the skills they need to flourish off the pitch. Read on to learn how it’s done – and how you can get yourself in the game.
football3 builds confidence in young people and equips them with vital life skills. I'm proud to be part of this initiative.
Sebastian Rode, football3 ambassador
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Jaspreet Kaur (Youth Football Club Rurka Kalan) has been playing football since she was 12 years old. She now uses football3 to teach vocational skills and life lessons amongst young Indian girls.
I’ve received some resistance from my friends, as sport is not considered a serious option for girls in Punjab. But through football3 I am able to express myself more freely and confidently. I’ve learned how to act as a leader: observing different situations and acting accordingly to resolve conflicts. My favourite part is the post-match discussion. In the past we would just leave the pitch by ourselves after a match. With football3, we sit together, communicate and inspire one another. I always try to set an example for younger girls, showing them that if I can do it – even despite my lack of opportunities – they can do it too.
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Mercedes Vasquez Micolta (Fundación Colombianitos) has experienced the power of football as a tool for female empowerment. She now uses football3 to promote education and gender equality in conflict areas of Colombia.
I was born in Puerto Tejada, Cauca in 1993. My mother died at the young age of 30, when I was 11 years old. Shortly after that I started playing football3 with other girls. People didn’t normally accept the idea of women playing football and many parents restricted their daughters from training. We felt excluded from the community, but were motivated by the passion we had for the sport. With football3, we started giving more respect to ourselves and our opponents. It was a way of learning how to be a better person. Now I use football3 to share life lessons with young girls. My dream is to continue learning, go to university and become self-sufficient.
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Jean Paul Elongo (Centre des Jeunes pour la Paix) lived in a refugee camp for many years after his family fled conflict in DRC. He now works to promote peace across the Great Lakes region of Africa.I use football3 as a tool to bring together young people from different communities that are divided by conflict. It’s difficult for participants to interact with other young people from rival groups. This happens especially in areas where refugees have returned from Burundi and Congolese refugee camps in Tanzania. By playing football3 together, they can learn to co-exist and respect one another. Many groups we work with are marginalized, such as ex-combatants and vulnerable youth who are infected by HIV/AIDS. Football3 provides a space for them to share their needs and be heard, which helps them solve conflicts peacefully.
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Joana Vilela (Associação CAIS) uses football3 to promote healthy living and social harmony amongst disadvantaged young people in Portugal, many of whom have experienced homelessness.
Taking a sport like football and making it into a tool for social integration is important. Through football3, players start to look at the dynamics of football in a new light: where they begin to respect their opponents and make a bridge between their behaviour on the pitch and in their daily lives. They learn to give as much value to the process as they give to the outcome. They learn to respect differences, other cultures and other people in general. Understanding how a tool like this has the potential to change people's beliefs and lives is often the first step towards a big change.
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José David Osorio (Fundación Tiempo de Juego) was a one of many victims of forced displacement in Colombia. He started playing football3 after the move and has since become a role model for the next generation of participants.
What I like most about football3 is getting to know different people that hope for a better future and who, despite adversity, fight for the change they want to see. Every person you meet is different and because of this, everyone has something to contribute to the construction of a great generation of young people who can transform entire communities in a positive way. My work with football3 led to an Adidas scholarship, which I now use to study sport and physical education at the Santo Tomas University. The most important thing for me now is to learn and pass on what I’ve learned to other young children.