Football in the other dimension

Por: Vladimir Borkovic.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Introduction

Grassroots football projects and initiatives worldwide are dealing with issues related to social development. streetfootballworld, a project of the Youth Football Foundation, defines grassroots football as all kind of football in a local community focusing on social inclusion, violence prevention and non-formal education as specific goals. streetfootballworld is based on a best practice survey that identifies the fundamental pool of projects and initiatives to develop a global network of grassroots football, accompanied by permanent research activities.

Methods

In close co-operation with the International Council for Sport Science and PE (ICSSPE) and with the support of the United Nations and other international partners, the best practice survey is designed as a long-term study (4 years) with three periods of data collection followed by qualitative analysis and annual publications. After two stages of the survey, data from over 60 projects from five continents and several research programmes on grassroots football enable us for a preview into the world of grassroots football and the consideration of the possible impact of social and sport sciences on the development of this community work.

Results

Qualitative analysis make the following categorization possible, wich will be illustrated with specific examples of good practice models:

  1. Tolerance and Peace with the example: "Football for Peace" in Colombia, Germany and Rwanda
  2. Integration with the example: Twinned Soccer Schools in Israel
  3. Community Development with the example: Soccer In The Streets in the USA.

Discussion / Conclusion

The variety of the presented grassroots football projects will be a sign that football is also happening in "the other dimension". Grassroots football - contradictio in adjectum - a well-known, but unexplored field of action, in real life and in social science, will continue with this presentation its way into the Scientific Community towards the first milestone in the development of the movement - a World Forum on "Football and Develompent" in the year 2006.

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