The Ciudad Deportiva Luis del Sol (training ground of Real Betis Sevilla) was the venue for the closing day of SIDFOOT, a project co-financed by the European Union’s Erasmus + Program, led and coordinated by the Real Betis Foundation during the last 30 months. 

The European Football Development Network (EFDN), the University of the Balearic Islands, Liverpool City Council, Aalborg BK, Wiener SC, Save the Dream, the Brasov Metropolitan Agency for Sustainable Development and Fare are the other project partners.

The goal of the SIDFOOT program is to promote physical activity and social inclusion in disconnected neighborhoods through sport. Community coaches play a key role in the SIDFOOT methodology. The community coach (CFD) is a person who acts as a role model and motivates children and youth from disadvantaged neighborhoods to move, play and adapt to a healthier lifestyle.

The closing day – which was attended by 80 people – began with a welcome from Rafael Gordillo, president of the Real Betis Balompie Foundation, and Juan Manuel Flores, delegate for Social Cohesion of the Seville City Council, who highlighted the importance of the involvement of entities such as Real Betis in the inclusion of young people from the poorest neighborhoods of the city through sport.

Next, Sergio Lopez (alias Haze), a Sevillian Hip-Hop singer and teacher, who has become through his story an example for young people from poorer neighborhoods, was one of the speakers.

After the intervention of Sergio López, the round table “The potential of soccer as a tool for inclusion in disadvantaged neighborhoods” took place with the participation of Elena Montoro, project technician of LaLiga; Antonio Ismael Huertas, General Director of Social Protection and Preferential Action Neighborhoods of Andalusian Government and Joaquín González-Aleman, Director of Unicef Private Fundraising and Partnership Division.

Measuring the impact of social projects and the importance of the role of coaches was the topic of the second presentation of the day. Brian Godor, a specialist in Positive Youth Development; Aitor Hernández, executive director of Fútbol Más España and Iñaki Alonso, a specialist in law were the protagonists of this round table moderated by Lukas Laumann from European Football for Development Network.

The closing session of the SIDFOOT project ended with Rafael Muela, manager of the Real Betis Foundation, explaining how the project has developed. Afterwards, the rest of the partners of the programme also shared their experiences.

The day before the Final Conference, all Sidfoot Project partners met for a meeting in which they discussed the results of all pilots and researches, the challenges of the project and the continuity of the project and E-learning platform.


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