Our award-winning Solidarity Soccer programme is about showing how football can reflect life, that it can be a positive force for change and help people learn valuable life lessons and apply these in other contexts.
Started as a “jumpers for goalposts” concept during AFC Unity manager Jay Baker’s time in Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada, Solidarity Soccer has been developed with co-founder Jane Watkinson to emphasise that football can be a force for good, increasing confidence in life and interpersonal skills and body image, improving health and fitness whilst breaking down barriers and divisions that exist in society.
All of our community and development training sessions will be focused on these 4 main areas:
- Non-competitive, social focussed training session with all taking part completing an expression of interest form beforehand which will include a question asking them to provide us with one of their own personalised life goals (does not have to be to do with football and sport) with us seeing how the training session and club can help with this.
- There will be a strong digital focus to the sessions, with us utilising social media, video tweets and technology to engage women in the session in different ways.
- The training sessions will sometimes have themes around issues such as team work or “hope over fear” to show how football can reflect and change people’s lives in a positive way.
- The training sessions will also link into our new anti-bullying campaign.
The programme also reflects on Sport England research, Under the Skin: Understanding youth personalities to help young people get active (2016), which created personality types of younger people based on research with 2,000 younger people, finding that there are 6 types of youth personalities.
To get involved in Solidarity Soccer or to find out more about the programme and related training sessions, please get in contact with us! You can also read more about the programme in this blog post.