Soccer Camp 2016
Foootball inspires children and adolescents worldwide and can also playfully impart values such as tolerance, respect and fair play. The positive influence of football on young people was the starting point for the conception of the “Soccer Camp Lebanon 2016” organised by the David Nakhid International Football Academy and supported by the German Foreign Office.
For a period of six weeks, 150 Syrian, Palestinian and Lebanese children and adolescents trained at local football stadiums in Beirut, Tripoli, Saida and Bekaa for a week each under the instruction of professional trainers. Between the training units, the participants reflected on values such as respect and tolerance, equality and fairness, guided by trainers and co-trainers. All 900 children and adolescents met again at a closing ceremony, where the best boys’ and girls’ teams competed.
Besides providing the 6- to 16-year old participants with material equipment in terms of football shirts, shoes, bags and a ball, complementary travel from their homes to the pitch and back again was an important part of the project. The ‘train the trainer’ programme, which trains the young refugees’ guardians as football trainers, was indispensable for the organisation of the football camp, as it assured its sustained success. On the one hand, it ensured that the young athletes, many of whom were traumatised, had a person they trust taking part in the sporting activities with them during the training week. On the other hand, it also empowered coaches to continue the boys’ and girls’ training after the end of the project in order to provide a structured recreational activity in the long-term.
The “Soccer Camp Lebanon 2016” provided children and adolescents with a structured training week that challenged them while fostering their talent. Football matches and discussions with the trainers imparted important values that can kindle cooperation and a successful life. They also got to know children with other religious beliefs and nationalities, broke down preconceptions and realised what they all had in common: a passion for football.
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