22 May 2017

Troubled youth in Europe

 

Political instability, racism and violence are some of the greatest challenges faced by youth all across Europe. They all must deal with the negative consequences on a daily basis, often finding themselves with fewer opportunities, which in turn makes them more susceptible to disaffection and withdrawal from society. In the long term, these individuals are also vulnerable to mental and physical health problems. The cost is high - not only for the individuals themselves, but for European society as a whole. Compounding this challenge, in 2015 Europe faced the highest inflow of refugees since World War II, creating an additional group of young people with a high level of need. To support our youth in this difficult time streetfootballworld and its network members have developed a unique methodology that empowers young people with the skills they need to flourish on and off the pitch, combining a focus on fair play, equality and teamwork with discussion and reflection: football3

 

Football3 changes the game

 

Named after its ‘three halves’ – a pre-match discussion, football match and post-match discussion – football3 incorporates key life lessons into every match. In mixed-gender teams, players collectively decide on the rules before the game. Following the match, they reflect on their behaviour and that of their opponents, with points awarded for goals as well as for fair play. As football3 is played without referees, players must learn how to resolve conflicts themselves through dialogue and compromise. football3 has been developed by streetfootballlworld network members around the world into a comprehensive methodology to address a range of social topics, such as gender equality, peace building and health.

 

Project Goals

 

Over the course of a 24 month period, the project will create and disseminate a common multilingual Train-the-Trainers toolkit that will serve as the basis of Train-the-Trainers seminars, enabling coaches in each partner organisation to further expand and improve the implementation of football3. In these seminars at least 500 sport coaches will receive thorough instruction and, through them, around 50,000 young people across Europe will be reached. The toolkit will contain modules offering a step-by-step approach to simplify the implementation of football3 and ensure its success. It will also act as a mutual framework that will enable the impact of programmes to be measured. At the end of the project in December 2018, the 14 partners will be positioned as experts in the field and serve a so-called “knowledge hubs” of football3 for respect. To ensure free access, the toolkit will be available online, on paper and in practice.

 

The programme was launched at a kick-off meeting in Budapest and Gödöllő, Hungary, from 30th March to 1st April hosted by network member Oltalom Sport Association. The project partners gathered to lay the groundwork for the development of the toolkit as well as the related Train-the-Trainers workshops. During the first visit, partners shared the challenges they face within their communities and set forward ideas on how football3 can be used to help address those challenges, especially as it relates to racism, radicalism and social integration. The project team also actively took part in Oltalom’s Fair Play Football Roadshow event in Gödöllő, getting a first-hand look at how football3 can be used to bring different groups together.

 

The project partners will reconvene at four further site visits and meetings. The second leg of the football3 journey will be hosted by Sport Against Racism Ireland in Dublin to kick-start the development of the toolkit and gather first-hand experience from running programmes. Cologne will be the setting for the third meeting staged by local partner RheinFlanke and will serve to further test the toolkit. A fourth meeting will take place in early 2018 to finalise the toolkit, while the fifth and last meeting will be an opportunity for partners to share results and experiences, as well as to discuss the project’s legacy. Simultaneously, football3 for respect will be put into practice at football3 festivals with one pan-European festival planned and local events hosted by each partner.