How the Beautiful Game is Making the World More Beautiful

Streetfootballworld is a unique global organisation that want to change the world. What is more, this organisation has set a deadline by which to achieve their goals. Their deadline is 2030.

Streetfootbalworld was founded in 2002 by Jürgen Griesbeck, also founder of Fútbol por la Paz. This organisation is strongly driven by the conviction that the beautiful sport can make the world more beautiful. Since its founding, it boasts of one hundred and thirty-one network members that together make over two million people in eighty-six countries throughout the world.

Not everyone speaks English and certainly not everyone speaks Chinese, but everyone speaks football, that global language that unites so many people from different nations and cultures. Streetfootballworld uses this global language to unite the global community to overcome the greatest challlenges of our time – poverty, violence, unemployment, rascism, gender inequality, to name just a few. It is a long established fact that many lessons, which are transferable to life, can be taught on the pitch. Some of these lessons are fair play, inclusion, team work, and perhaps most important of all, respect.

Among the projects that streetfootballworld have set up are the following:

Levelling The Playing Field This programme was initiated in 2015. Its aim is to strengthen leadership and coaching skills of young women in Cambodia.

Football3 This is a unique way of playing the sport in mixed-gender teams. It is based on the principle that the values of fair play, inclusion and respect are as important as sporting dexterity. Before each game, the players decide on the rules to abide by. After the match, they all reflect, not on how well they performed, but on how well behaved they played during the game. Points are then awarded for respect and good behaviour. Another interesting facet of Football3 is that referees are excluded from the matches, thus encouraging the young players to resolve any arising conflicts themselves. In 2015, the Coca Cola Foundation pledged to support the project as a means of teaching 250,000 disadvantaged young Germans through football3 match play.

Team Up For NEETS This project works with young Europeans who have been affected by the crisis and who are not in education, employment or training. This is being developed jointly by eight network members in France, UK, Spain, Ireland, Hungary, Portugal and Germany.

It is indeed encouraging to say that the beautiful game is being made even more beautiful by such initiatives.