“Spirit of Soccer” Iraq


The main aim of the project is to educate children of the dangers of land mines and other explosive elements of war through the power of football and sporting education.The spirit of Soccer project has a powerful and important itinerary to spread throughout the youth of Iraq including Mine Risk education,activities that get across the important message in a fun way and to raise the awareness by changing the behavior of children towards explosive objects whether they be mines or bombs.

“There aren’t many chances to play sport for women in Iraq” says Serab. “Spirit of Soccer gave me the opportunity to return to the sport I love at the same time as performing a humanitarian role, helping to protect children against mines and other weapons by educating them”. (Serab -football coach for spirit of soccer)

The violence in both Syria and Iraq have had catastrophic consequences for humanitarian reasons in the region.There has been a huge amount of displacement for people in the region leaving some 5.2 million people in urgent need of assistance in Iraq. Since
December 2014 more than 2.2 million Iraqis have been internally SOS-Logo-1displaced, and half of them are children under the age of 18, forced to live in camps without any formal education or social structures.

There are many aims and objectives of the project which can be a complex process due to the war torn nature of the regions so to reach those objectives given the dangers that the coaches are working in and the environment.There are core objectives which are :-

  • Teach 150 Iraqi and Syrian football coaches (30% women) the fundamentals of trauma and mine safety:a. KEEP AWAY from dangerous areas
    b. DON’T TOUCH mines or explosive remnants of war
    c. REPORT mines or explosive remnants of war to someone in authority
    d. COMMUNICATE the above to friends and family
  • Deliver mine risk education through football to 25,000 Iraqi and Syrian children
  • Recruit 5,000 high-risk, fighting age men into a ‘anti-extremism football league’
  • Deliver mine risk education messages indirectly to 75,000 Iraqi and Syrian refugees and internally displaced people
  • Increase access to football in under-served communities

(objectives taken from http://uefafoundation.org/action/spirit-of-soccer-2/ )

These crucial elements and objectives are done through football activity and participation.Sport is a special vehicle and a very clever way to spread a message to as many children in the fastest possible time as this links with the Brain training theory that activities should be put across in the manner of the child’s capabilities to take in that information so through fun physical activities they are more likely to get a higher participation equaling a larger target base.

This fantastic project of “Spirit of Soccer” works all over the world and are always looking to expand to reach more war torn areas as the work will never be over. So far there are 110,000,000 mines in the world and it has been predicted that it would take 1000 years to clear them at a cost of $30 billion and in which 50% of the total victims of mines die within the first hours without being able to get medical help.

Since 2009 we have delivered programs in Baghdad, Basra and Kirkuk to over 80,000 children, often under heavy shelling. In keeping with our philosophy of local ownership we have trained 18 local Iraqi coaches as MRE instructors, including three women, from across the Arab, Sunni, Shia, Kurdish and Christian communities.

(Spirit of Soccer statment – http://spiritofsoccer.org/our-impact/)

If you would like to donate or see more information on this fantastic project then please follow the link below.

http://spiritofsoccer.org/

https://www.facebook.com/SpiritofSoccer/

Cambuur fans give their team an incredible send off at training !


 

 

Cambuur were due to play arch nemesis Heerenveen so the fans gave them an amazing send off with this pyro show,unfortunately their antics got a steward seriously injured by a firework.

“Spirit of Soccer” Cambodia Project


The Spirit of Soccer project was founded in 1996 and is still going strong to this day.The organisation has had immense success for 2 decades in which they have touched the hearts of tens of thousands of children and families in Cambodia.

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Landmine Clearance

The Civil war in Cambodia lasted nearly three decades where Landmines were placed in populated areas which posed a huge risk to the local populace to maximize human damage.Over 40,000 Cambodians are missing a body part in which 40% are young victims.It remains one of the worlds most heavily mined areas.The Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC) have stated that it would take 100 years to clear the region.

There may be as many as four-to-six million mines and unexploded ordinances in Cambodia and, according to estimates, at the present rate it would take 100 years to clear them all.

yd3l_ayzThe Philosophy of the project is to educate children about the dangers of land mines and to raise the awareness of the dangerous consequences of war especially surrounding the ERW (Explosive Remnants of War) in post conflict regions. The program expanded to Cambodia after successful projects in Bosnia & Herzegovina where for ten years they worked to reach the same goals.

The success is easy to quantify in the amount of participants and children they have reached as in 2006 alone they reached 22,000 children and over 80,000 altogether which educated them on the risks and prevention methods of Land Mines which is a huge number to reach for a project of this type.One of the many impressive elements to this story is that they use football education to spread the message which allows for other benefits such as keeping the children off the streets, reducing crime and enhancing the prevention of drug abuse.

The group has also impacted strongly in funding in the region having donated thousands of footballs and equipment whilst also delivering thousands of sessions ,advice and coaching methodology per year to the youth of Cambodia.

 

Dream Big …. Football Changing Lives for Hope

Through Football for Hope’s support, Spirit of Soccer has been able to expand its activities in Cambodia to other affected regions of the country and to reach over 20.000 children per year on the dangers posed by land mines – FIFA

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Map showing ERW contamination in Cambodia

Brain Training, Is it the answer to England’s playing and coaching problems, A very interesting Article!, what is your view ?


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BRAIN TRAINING AND THE ENGLISH COACHING ISSUE 

(this is the link to the interesting brain training link if you would like to see)      http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/9421702.stm

 

This is an interesting view on the way we think about what kind of development we prioritize to our players from when they are academy players all the way until they reach the peak of their professional careers.Over the last 10 years UEFA A Licence coach Michel Bruyninckx has been training young players with a concept of “Brain Centered Learning” and to remarkable effect, some players he has coached has come out of his program a new player and being able to achieve techniques they were never able to do before such as the story of  Faris Haroun, who was sent to work with Bruyninckx and the Belgian International returned to his club being able to use his left foot with enough ability his…

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A New Nation Is Born, The Story Of South Sudan And Using Football As A Tool For Hope


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 Football Bringing Hope To A New Nation

After years of brutal violence and war, the world finally has its newest nation and its newest addition to the Football world .South Sudan declared its independence from Khartoum in which they have  been battling since the 1950’s and within 1 day the country was already ready take on its first challenge as a brand new United Nations State , their very first football match.The South Sudanese never believed the day would come that they could be called an independent state after years of Civil war with the North in which it is estimated that around 2 million people have been killed and has completely decimated all structure and infrastructure in the region.The bitter feud has grown in the region between the predominantly Christian and Animist in the South and the Muslim North.Many people have questioned the decline of infrastructure in the region due to its enormous Oil wealth, but a divide that has…

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CNN Hero And Football Changing Lives in Haiti


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This is a story of a Hero and one of life’s true ambassadors for goodness and generosity. The story starts in 2006 when Patrice Millet was diagnosed with a rare bone Cancer in which his only option was a stem cell transplant or face death. Patrice Millet opted for treatment in the USA and after a 9 month fight for life he was finally in remission and was able to return to Haiti in 2007.

Millet decided that he was going to do everything and anything he could to help the children of Haiti after a devastating time in the country’s history and finally lead the life that he wanted instead of the one he felt he had to lead by giving Haiti’s youth a chance of a prosperous future.

“Every day you see so many kids in need, so many bad stories, tragic stories,” All my life, I wanted…

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YUWA PROGRAM EMPOWERING CHILDREN USING FOOTBALL


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YUWA INDIA  EMPOWERING CHILDREN WITH FOOTBALL

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This is a truly inspiring story from one of the poorest provinces in India .The province of Jharkhand only gained statehood in the year 2000.The province has some of the worst statistics in the country in regards to important demographic and social inclusion aspects for example only 40% have some form of electricity and literacy is below 40 percent for the region.These two elements have allowed the region to fall victim to many atrocities in which poverty is the main catalyst. Child abduction and Bus Bombings are rife in the area from  Maoist revolutionaries and running battles with authorities are a regular occurrence. The main victims in all of this strife are the local youth and especially young girls who are forced to marry young and have their young lives taken away from them as well as their innocence.

imagesThere is a very traditional and old…

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