AC Milan’s Sustainability Report (Part 2)

10 April 2017

AC Milan’s Sustainability Report (Part 2)


“Ensure that children with disabilities have equal access with other children to participation in play, recreation and leisure and sporting activities”

The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Milan Foundation is committed to guaranteeing access and support to children and young adults who, due to their disabilities, are in danger of being excluded from sport.

In the case of Sport for All, Milan Foundation’s role is to collate the best experiences from the Italian non-profit movement. The foundation researches and supports innovative projects which promote sport for disabled and non-disabled children. It also finances research to show the social impact and in terms of education and rehabilitation.

  • 378 youngsters involved in the 2015/2016 season
  • 75.000 euros of investment
  • 2 countries (Italy and Germany) and 5 provinces involved

We Play-Football School

In 2015, Milan Foundation and Briantea84 launched the We Play-Football School project which aims to develop integrated sports activities for young people with intellectual disabilities and non-disabled youngsters.Specifically, the project aims to create a sporting model which focuses on the disabled young person’s well-being and includes two forms of action:

  • encourage them to play sport via a proper Football School for school-age young people with intellectual disabilities;
  • access to integrated competitive sport with the creation of one Top-level Team featuring disabled and non-disabled young people playing in the CSI Open11 league.


Rules are made together and are designed to be interpreted as and when required. Knowledge is no longer imparted on a top-down basis, nor are there set ideas, only ideas in the process of being formed. What is appropriate for one youngster might not be for another. Mistakes have to be an opportunity for growth”. Edgardo Zanoli – Youth Academy Technical Coordinator

The AC Milan youth academy has entrusted the planning, monitoring and evaluation of educational psychology activities to the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart.

The team both underpins the development of individual players and provides support to the coaching staff (coaches, fitness coaches, goalkeeping coaches, physiotherapists) as they negotiate the delicate task of encouraging and supervising the complex network of relationships involving individual players, the teams as a whole, the coaching staff, the club, school and the parents.

  • 4 training meetings for coaching staff
  • 5 members of training team
  • 8 members of residence team

The AC Milan method is a process which involves the coaches, wider coaching staff and indeed all figures who play a role in the players’ development. 

Regular training sessions are held for the coaches throughout each week. It is vital that adult figures are kept right up to date in order for them to optimise the services they provide.

First of all, I have to stress that an important part of our work is with the staff. We work to help the adults strengthen their skills in developing specific mental abilities and to teach the youngsters that they need others – that their team-mates can help them achieve their objectives. The concept of teamwork is proving to be a great success with the adults, too”.
Antonello Bolis – Educational Psychology Team Coordinator


The BPM Cup is a wonderful opportunity to experience sport as a time of celebration, fun, togetherness, passion and emotion.

The BPM Milan Cup is an end-of-season tournament featuring the 80+ AC Milan Soccer Schools based all over Italy.

All of the participants have the chance to celebrate the end of the football season with three days of football and fair play as they meet on the pitch at the home of the AC Milan academy.

  • 1,700 participants
  • 92 teams
  • 380 matches played

During the course of the event, the Training School organised a series of meetings focused on promoting sport for young people and all of the adult figures involved in their lives: parents, coaches and club officials. 


“Promote the values of sport so they can inspire and guide new generations”.

Milan Foundation works to create opportunities for young people to meet and get active in their own environment in order to share the values of sport and allow them to experience feeling part of a team.

Specifically, the foundation has run a meeting with four schools in Milan to promote the importance of sport even in emergency situations.

One of the items discussed was Sports for Peace, a project promoted by UNHCR (the United Nations’ High Commissioner for refugees) and supported by Milan Foundation in Lebanon. We were able to provide the young participants with a different point of view that they could discuss together.

Sport for Peace in Lebanon

Lebanon is home to more than 1.1 million Syrian refugees who have fled from violence, persecution and unrest in their homeland. More than half of the refugees are minors but only 100,000 of them have access to education and take it in turns to attend school in the afternoon due to an already poor and overburdened school system.

In this context, sport plays an incredible role in promoting individual and collective well-being, as well as helping to bring the various communities in Lebanon together.

Milan Foundation’s commitment in Lebanon will continue in 2016 too, allowing 90 Syrian child refugees to continue their education.

  • 2,000 Syrian and lebanese children involved in a year’s work
  • 12 sports facilities refurbished in Lebanon
  • 84 coaches trained


Part of our job is to help the youngsters satisfy their needs through the group objective. We often say that we don’t believe in external motivation provided by others – we believe in intrinsic motivation” Edgardo Zanoli – Youth Academy Technical Coordinator

The AC Milan method focuses on the realistic career prospects of the young players. They are involved in decisions that affect their development. The staff evaluates the players, but the youngsters themselves are brought into the process and asked to self-evaluate their performance in order to expose them to their limits and potential.

  • 450 meetings with players
  • 37 youth academy players who became professionals
  • 274 youth academy players who did not become professionals

Using appropriate educational support tools, we aim to help the youngsters withstand psychological pressure, manage frustration and – most importantly – deal with the moment in which the majority of them fail to achieve the objective of becoming a professional footballer. On an academic level, we prepare them for alternative careers, providing a memorable educational experience.


Football once again proves an excellent means of integration and inclusion for all.

AC Milan took part in the Special Adventure Camp, a tournament aimed at disabled and non-disabled teenagers aged 14-18.

Eight teams took part in the camp in the Swiss canton of Schwyz: four local sides and four teams from abroad (AC Milan, Manchester City, Chelsea FC and ZHO Abu Dhabi).

  • 70 disabled teenagers
  • 200 non-disabled teenagers
  • 70 coaches and teachers

The young footballers had the chance to face each other on the pitch, not only during matches, but also during the training sessions run on rotation by opposition coaches with mixed teams.

Structuring activities in this way helped to foster socialising and inclusion among the youngsters, who were able to experience different cultures and try out new training methods.

In particular, thanks to the mixed activities it was easy to stress the educational values of sport such as teamwork, respecting the rules and one’s team-mates, and self-confidence.

The camp promoted training seminars for the coaches in attendance so they could share and learn training methods on the pitch with disabled youngsters. The camp timetable was also bolstered by open meetings with the local community to raise awareness on the role of sport in creating genuine instances of integration.


Milan Foundation’s involvement in the Relay Marathon was a challenge – a new sport and a new means of participation. The gamble paid off with a big turnout in terms of numbers and significant funds raised.

For the first time ever, Milan Foundation took part in the Europ Assistance Relay Marathon, Milan’s fun run which was held on 3 April 2016.

Participants ran 26 miles to raise funds for the Sport for Change project, which helps more than 100 children who have dropped out of school or committed a crime to resume their education or enter the labour market. 

  • 227 donors involved
  • 180 runners
  • more than 13,000 euros raised

The scheme raised more than €13,000, enough to fund a regional centre for around four months.

This result was made possible in part thanks to the great involvement of AC Milan employees who were able to take an active role in the project as runners, volunteers and donors.

Besides the 180 runners, a further 227 people supported the event, getting caught up in the enthusiasm of this new challenge.

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