Kick Off, Friends For Unity!

Friends For Unity is a football project that supports youngsters with different ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds and also the ones that come from low‐income families. We train them once a week to be better athletes while fostering respect , discipline and most importantly team work, always in order to create a feeling of unity and instill values centered on the good relations between different communities.

The first project began in April 2014 with 15 youngsters that until then were playing soccer in potentially dangerous areas. Since then, participation and commitment to the project Football For Unity has attracted more than 300 young people from London, of various ages.

Friends For Unity’s role is to provide participants the best facilities, sport equipment and qualified coaches to carry them out, they start feeling important and a link starts forming that is reinforced when they start seeing they are valued. At the same time boys begin to believe in us, therefore, this is the first success we achieve. Young people are willing to be trained and guided, thus learning about people from different backgrounds and they can focus on the positive opportunities in life.

As a result of these proyects, political or religious radicalization posibilities are considerably reduced, it helps eliminate racial and cultural prejudices, and takes time away from being on the streets with everything that implies in terms of susceptibility to criminality. Friends For Unity gives them a sense of identity with all communities through football.

At the time we have a great group of young people, super talented players, enthusiastic, multicultural, aged between 10 and 17 that feel integrated as British citizens.

How will we do it?

Friends For Unity captures young people through schools, places of worship, community centers, associations, advertisements in local newspapers and word of mouth. Managers and Football For Unity volunteers are responsible for the project implementation. The first thing to do is gain an understanding of the youngsters behavior through an informal chat at the start of program, where we ask them about their identity and what UNITY means for them. We also ask the participants to sign a form, thanks to which they become engaged in not only behaving like football team members but also to respect their playmates based on the values of coexistence and regardless of their origins.

Male and female groups are divided into teams based on their age groups. After meeting their coaches and other team members, they are instructed every week with football technical training directly by qualified coaches. Every month we have a nutritionist that comes and talks to the youngsters about how to lead a healthy life and nutrition.

Each month we also celebrate a football discussion between participants, using this as a means to deal with issues directly related to values of respect and good coexistence. Each player is asked how they feel about playing in a multicultural team; what UNIT means for them; what they consider being Spanish, Afghan, Somali, Polish … etc.; and what they know about the values of coexistence. This way we are able to monitor changes in their attitudes from the day  they join the project.

Project Details

Every project is designed for 50 youngsters (8‐17 years old), in 90 min sessions and with a duration of 10 months. The item list will break down as follows:

• 60 balls.
• 1 pump.
• 6 ball bags.
• 12 poles.
• 12 hurdles.
• 2 set speed ladders.
• 50 bibs (4 colors).
• 2 sets of pop up goals.
• 2 sets 5 a side goals (aluminum).
• 1 pitch for 1.5 hrs each week.

• 2 coaches for 1.5 hrs each week.
• 1 FFU assistant 3 hrs a week.
• 1 Nutritionist 1 hr per month.
• 1 Psychologit 1 hr per month .
• 1 first ‐ aid kit.
• 50 Kits (shorts, shirts, socks).
• 4 goalkeeper gloves.
• Food and drinks once a month.
• 2 banners.
• 50 certificates and medals.

Projects

Samurai For Unity 

SFC For Unity

TUFF FC For Unity