Juventus joins the European Football Week

30 September 2020

Juventus joins the European Football Week

Juventus and EFDN are supporting the Special Olympics European Football Week (EFW) and the platform Faces of Football.  The Juventus for Special project is a best practice example of a project that promotes the social inclusion of athletes with intellectual disabilities through football.

Juventus for Special is a sport and social inclusion project for young men with disabilities, that goes beyond the limits of a football pitch.

Football plays a crucial role in the global project. The players are athletes by all means, and as in every football team, they must fight to make the cut by working hard and earning a starter’s jersey thanks to good sports performance. This philosophy also goes in favor of the social aspect as the sense of belonging that develops towards Juventus for Special strengthens the participants’ self-awareness and confidence.

Alongside the sports activity, there is the educational dimension focused to involve new generations in a path aimed at overcoming the prejudices and stereotypes related to disability and persons affected by a disability. In fact, the related staff and players are also featured in educational activities in schools and other local venues to spread the message that disability is not a limit, but simply one of the characteristics of the human condition.

The Juventus for Special team participated in a tournament organised by Special Olympics Italia during the European Football Week. Photo: Jonathan Moscrop/Sportimage

Since the 2018/2019 school year, the Juventus For Special@School educational project involved over 3,000 students of every grade and level – in elementary, middle, and high school – in active lessons. It tries to recreate the difficulties of three types of disability in a simple and direct way in school gyms. This activity – created and coordinated by the Juventus for Special players – aims to demonstrate and make the students directly experience the feelings that an athlete with disability encounters during his sport activity, as in football.

”Juventus for Special is a high-quality programme that promotes the social inclusion of young athletes with disabilities by using the power of football. The project was shortlisted for the 2019 More than Football Award and is a best practice project for European football. Juventus supports the community throughout the pandemic and helps their special athletes to stay safe, active and healthy”, said Hubert Rovers, CEO of EFDN.

#Morethanfootball Action Weeks and Special Olympics

EFDN supports the Special Olympics European Football Week by highlighting their messages and sharing best practices during the #Morethanfootball Action Weeks. Furthermore, we recommend all clubs, leagues and FAs to share Faces of Football with their programme participants, coaches and supporters. The #Morethanfootball Action Weeks (15.09.2020 – 11.10.2020) are a global campaign for the European football community to showcase the impact of their community and social responsibility activities with participating organizations celebrating the work they do on and off the pitch on a local, national and international level.