Following the successful establishment of Field in a Box pitches in Madrid, Mragowo (in north-eastern Poland) and Cape Town, the UEFA Foundation for Children and FedEx are working together on the construction of a new pitch in Rio Doce, on the outskirts of Recife. The global not-for-profit network streetfootballworld has helped to identify a suitable location for the pitch and chosen local charity love.fútbol to maintain the pitch and ensure its sustainable use.
The UEFA Foundation for Children has been running its Field in a Box project since 2016 with the aim of providing enclosed, fully functional artificial football pitches to impoverished communities. These pitches are environmentally sustainable and quick to install.
This project aims to improve the lives of young people and breathe new life into disadvantaged communities. By providing opportunities to play football, the foundation seeks to improve children’s health and support their personal development, while teaching them football’s core values (respect, team spirit, etc.).
love.fútbol is a global initiative dedicated to giving people access to football where communities lack safe and inclusive spaces for sport. Since its inception in 2006, the organisation has encouraged and taught communities to design, plan, build, manage and ultimately redefine football pitches as community assets and platforms for sustainable social change. In a participatory process, love.fútbol empowers communities to build a football pitch, providing guidance, finance and raw materials and mobilising local resources, while placing ownership of the entire process in the hands of the community in order to ensure the sustainability of the project.
The construction of this pitch in Rio Doce – where almost 60% of the population live below the poverty line, with incomes averaging less than US$100 a month – will give local children and young people a safe place to play and access to various development opportunities. love.fútbol’s local partner, Pazear, will use the pitch as a platform for its football activities, using sport to foster peace-building, gender equality and social transformation.
RESULTS TO DATE AND EXPECTED OUTCOMES
- Training sessions will take place using the football3 method.
- Concepts and studies will be developed with a view to promoting the continued use of football as a vehicle for peace-building, gender equality and social integration.
- Over the next year, hundreds of participants are expected to take part in football-related programmes implemented on the new pitch.
- In addition to weekly football sessions, the pitch will also provide a platform for weekly educational and monthly cultural activities.