Around 11 million people play football in the UK every week, making up 119,000 teams in more than 12,000 leagues, reaching every corner and culture of the country. We get used to seeing football as a game of allegiances, whether that’s the traditional Sunday morning pub team or the local (and sometimes not-so-local) professional team, but what can be forgotten is the impact football has away from being a simple spectacle.
Whether it’s a professional club’s Foundation, their community engagement programmes or an independent organisation using football as a vehicle to make a difference; football as a sport and a movement is in a unique position to change lives for the better in the UK.
Over the next week we’ll be looking at three organisations that are using football as a vehicle for change, starting with Footie With Dad, an organisation that encourages the strengthening of the carer-child relationship through a shared enjoyment of football.
Footie With Dad was founded by a dad whose son faced serious medical complications from birth. His dream was to take his son to watch a football match and share the unique bond that this occasion can create. The role of FWD is simple, encourage more parents/grandparents/guardians to explore and create this bond with a child in their life. As a relatively new charity, founded in 2017, FWD currently encourages people to share their stories and experiences, mainly through social media, as a way of inspiring others. The charity is being interviewed on Radio Five Live later today and we’ll be tuning in to hear more about what they’re planning for the future.
Next up, we’ll be looking at Football for Peace and how they use football to empower young people, break down conflicts and encourage social cohesion across the UK and the world.