Football for Good Initiative Launches Across Commonwealth

Football for Good Initiative Launches Across Commonwealth

A global movement dedicated to using football as a force for positive change among young people has been launched by the Street Soccer Foundation, Catalyst in Communities and the Commonwealth.

The Football For Good initiative aims to use the sport as a catalyst to transform communities through youth development, education, peace and unity.

At the official launch at the Commonwealth Headquarters in Marlborough House, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth said: “Sport is one of the most dynamic and influential ways to allow our young people to enhance their health and opportunity, but also to learn about partnership, fairness, and bringing people together for peace. This is Football For Good. Football for peace and development, and the enhancement of unity across the commonwealth.”

The movement is part of the Commonwealth’s ‘Year of Youth’ project, which is marking 50 years of the Commonwealth Youth Programme.

Year of Youth

Over the next few months, young people from across the Commonwealth are to be encouraged to visit the official Football For Good website to contribute and share videos, photos and articles showcasing how football is being used as a force for good in their communities.

Keith Mabbutt, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Street Soccer Foundation, said:

“We have witnessed through our programmes the positive impact football can have in the lives of young people, from creating new friendships, boosting their confidence, giving them a new purpose, and aiding their physical and mental health. Our Football For Good initiative will harness that power to bring communities together in celebration of the Year of Youth and we are delighted to partner with the Commonwealth and others on this exciting new global movement.”

The 2023 Year of Youth is devoted to celebrating and empowering the 1.5 billion under-30s living in the Commonwealth and sees Commonwealth Heads of Government committing to prioritise collaborative action on youth-related issues, including climate change, access to education, employment and political, social and economic participation.

Map of the Commonwealth Countries

More than 60 per cent of the Commonwealth’s population is aged under 30 and the Year of Youth coincides with the 50th anniversary of the Commonwealth Youth Programme, which delivers support to help under-30s reach their full potential.

Robin Lockhart, Founder and Director of Catalyst in Communities and Commonwealth Ambassador for Youth Work said:

“The Year of Youth is best viewed as the beginning of a new opportunity to seek alternative perspectives and explore solutions to the many challenges we face globally. The young people of the world are the solutions to these challenges and nurturing and supporting our children and young people is surely our single most vital role as a society. Projects such as the Football For Good initiative bring these change makers together through a common interest.  I am extremely proud to be collaborating with the Street Soccer Foundation on this and look forward to everything that comes from the Year of Youth and to implementing our collective learning for years to come.”

The Football For Good initiative will culminate in its pilot year with the inaugural International Football For Good Day on Sunday, 19 November, when communities in the 56 Commonwealth member countries will be invited to organise football-related activities where they live, alongside a UK youth tournament event to take place at the London Stadium in Stratford, London.

The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, Secretary-General of the Commonwealth added

“This wonderful day, on 19th November, the Football For Good day, will have a special tournament at the London Stadium. However, wouldn’t it be wonderful if in every one of our 56 countries on the same day we could do something using football for good.”

Keith Mabbutt, Patricia Scotland and Robin Lockhart at the Football for Good launch
  • To learn more about The Street Soccer Foundation, click here.
  • To learn more about Catalyst In Communities, click here.
NOTES:

If you would like further information or would like to be involved in the upcoming International Football For Good Day event at the London Stadium, or if you represent the media and would like to interview any representatives involved in the Football For Good global initiative, please in the first instance email our PR Manager, Faye Hackwell: faye.hackwell@streetsoccerfoundation.org.uk.

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