Football as an International Dialogue

25 August 2016

The Centre for Volunteering and Community Leadership (CVCL) report on their latest trip

The Centre for Volunteering and Community Leadership (CVCL) Staff Riz Gurjee, Ali Melling, and Students Tasha Ashraf, Imran Khan, Kamran Ashraf, Sarah Ahmed, and Mumtaz Ali, have just returned from a project in Morocco, where they have worked at an orphanage in Agadir to set up a football club for the boys and young men. The Centre Sauvegarde de l’enfante Garcons caters for around 92 boys up to 18 years. It relies heavily on the support of outside agencies and volunteers to help with skill development the young people. The objective of the visit was to set up a football club within the Centre.

Ali Melling said: “There is a very strong ‘street football’ culture within the groups of young men and some outstanding talent. During the week, they practiced basic football skills with the volunteers and played a small tournament. The students bought all the boys trainers as they previously had to play in flip flops or their bare feet. They also provided six good quality footballs and some mini cones for training purposes”.

The CVCL is seeking sponsorship for the Centre Sauvegarde de l’enfante Garcons football club and will be approaching local clubs. CVCL are also looking for coaching volunteers at Level One or above to go out to Agadir and deliver training camps. CVCL are seeking funding to bring some of these highly talented boys over to Burnley to train with local young people.

This project aligns to the CVCL and UCLan Sport agenda for FIFA 2018 in Moscow, where UCLan have been invited as a key partner in developing the Football Volunteering programme. Tatyana Gomzyakova, Head of the Volunteers Department in the 2018 Organising Committee, has invited CVCL and UCLan Sport to join a dialogue, providing insight into the FIFA WC-2018 Volunteers programme in relation to the following points:

  • Official FIFA 2018 Volunteer Programme
  • Volunteers requirements
  • Training process / potential opportunities for UK companies
  • Training centres network and cooperation between UK/Russian universities
  • Volunteer movement in Russia

This builds upon the successful partnership between UCLan and the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Volunteer Programme. Sveta Marakasova, a key organiser of the dialogue stated: “Being a volunteer for a global sport event is an amazing opportunity to get unforgettable memories and useful experience, including language practice. We are also planning to invite representatives from MGIMO university, one of the leading universities in Russia, to share their insight on potential cooperation between Russian and UK universities and current partnerships”.

The dialogue will take place via webinar on 6 September at 11:00 UK time