The Football for Hope movement was yesterday recognised for its unstinting work, collecting the award for Philanthropy and Cooperation through Sports in a moving ceremony on day two of the Global Sports Forum Barcelona 2010.
Headed by FIFA and streetfootballworld, the strategic alliance has been implementing social and human development programmes since 2005, using football as a tool to promote participation and dialogue. FIFA's Head of Social Corporate Responsibility (CSR), Federico Addiechi, and the Managing Director of streetfootballworld, Jurgen Griesbeck, were at the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya to collect the award.
An honour and a pleasure
In a short speech Mr Addiechi thanked the event organisers for the accolade. “It is an honour to receive this award on behalf of FIFA and its President, Joseph S. Blatter, and on behalf of the football family,” he said. “It gives us great happiness and immense pleasure to have it in our hands. Thank you very much.”
Addiechi drew attention to all the hard work that has been carried out since the creation of Football For Hope, and told the packed audience how the movement came into being. “This all started in 2005, when FIFA joined forces with streetfootballworld with the aim of harnessing the world’s most popular sport for a good cause, namely to bring about positive social change.”
“The idea behind the movement is to give member organisations the opportunity to go about their work more effectively,” he continued. “We support them in that task and help them develop in their fields of expertise.”
FIFA’s CSR chief went on to emphasise the positive results achieved by Football for Hope to date and its goals for the future. “Thanks to this unprecedented partnership between a major international sporting association and a unique network such as streetfootballworld, we have built a platform that encourages other organisations, both private and public, to offer their support to the movement and to use the power of football to generate positive social change.”
Teamwork the key
Taking his turn to address the audience, Mr Griesbeck highlighted the special synergies that have made Football For Hope what it is today. “This is a very special partnership and we should celebrate the fact that this is an award made in recognition of teamwork,” he said. “Nothing can be achieved without cooperation and a shared commitment.”
Griesbeck also took the opportunity to invite those present to the Football for Hope Festival, which will be held in South Africa in conjunction with the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. “If you are going to the World Cup finals, please don’t just go to the stadiums,” he said. “Try and find time to visit the district of Alexandra, where the main event of the Festival will be held and where you will find all the people who are devoting their efforts to bringing about development, who have made it an integral part of their lives. You’ll see for yourself how they are working, on an everyday basis, to make things better.”
In addition to the award for Football for Hope, three organisations belonging to the streetfootballworld network earned recognition from the Global Sports Forum organisers, a testament to their selfless work in using the wonderful sport of football to help people in need.