FIFA President Gianni Infantino, alongside FIFA Legends – including Kaka, Laura Georges, Tim Cahill, Marcel Desailly, Samuel Eto’o and Jose Mourinho – visited schoolchildren in Lebanon this weekend to host several interactive sessions to mark the start of the second pilot project for the FIFA Football for Schools programme, which is set to be launched early next year.
Following the first pilot project, which began in Puerto Rico last month, FIFA President Gianni Infantino, alongside FIFA Legends are taking part in two workshops – one yesterday (Sunday 13 October) in Mount Lebanon and one at Bir Hassan Technical College in Beirut today (Monday 14 October), which will see nearly 300 schoolchildren from different schools take part in interactive life-skills lessons.
As part of the FIFA Football for Schools programme - a new initiative set to be implemented around the world by the FIFA Foundation from early 2020 – participating schools will help to deliver a variety of fun and interactive sessions designed to educate boys and girls across three age groups (4-7, 8-11 and 12-14 years) about important life-skills and positive values. The lessons will also aim to address some of the social challenges facing young people in the world today, including bullying, staying in school and leading a healthy and active lifestyle.
Speaking today, FIFA President Gianni Infantino said:
"Football and education play a vital role in nurturing talent and young people in society today. As we launch the second pilot project of the Football for Schools programme here in Lebanon, today marks an important step forward for the programme as we look to combine football and education together in a programme that not only aims to teach boys and girls around the world important values and life-skills through football, but also aims to inspire real and positive change within society. Football for Schools is ultimately about lessons for life."
As part of the session that took place in Chouf Stadium today, 36 teachers from local schools in Lebanon delivered lessons focussed on life-skills and several themes. The lessons also trialled several online resources and mobile applications that have been developed by FIFA for teachers and schools that will participate in the programme and aim to be delivered as part of the school curriculum and extracurricular school activities.
During today’s workshop, FIFA Legend Jose Mourinho said:
"Football is a school for life and teachers and coaches in schools around the world play a vital role in shaping the lives of young people and teaching them about important values - like hard work, fair play and respect. By giving teachers the right resources and right tools, we can influence more young people around the world through this programme and have a positive impact on society."
On the sidelines today, FIFA Legend and FIFA Foundation CEO Youri Djorkaeff added:
"Football has played such an important part of my life. As a player, football has taught me important values like teamwork and respecting others. Football has a truly special power to connect and reach into the hearts and minds of young people and communities. It is vital that, as former players and FIFA Legends, we give back to society and pass on the valuable lessons that football has taught us to a new generation.
“As the FIFA Foundation begins the first Football for Schools pilot projects, we look forward to working with more member associations, governments and programme partners, like the World Food Programme (WFP), over the coming months ahead of the official launch next year.”