Football 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 is 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 will train 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 will reflect on values such as respect and tolerance, equality and fairness, guided by trainers and co-trainers. All 900 children and adolescents will meet again at a closing ceremony, where the best boys’ and girls’ teams will compete.
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 is an important part of the project. The ‘train the trainer’ programme, which trains the young refugees’ guardians as football trainers, is indispensable for the organisation of the football camp, as it assures its sustained success. On the one hand, it ensures that the young athletes, many of whom are traumatised, have a person they trust taking part in the sporting activities with them during the training week. On the other hand, it also empowers 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” provides children and adolescents with a structured training week that challenges them while fostering their talent. Football matches and discussions with the trainers impart important values that can kindle cooperation and a successful life. They also get to know children with other religious beliefs and nationalities, break down preconceptions and realise what they all have in common: a passion for football.
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