- Every year 22 primary school children who would not normally be able to afford the enrolment fee for economic or social reasons are selected by the Turin UNESCO Centre to take part in the Scuola Calcio technical and educational programme.
- All children are involved in a three-year activity programme, provided they maintain the same criteria which led to them being selected.
- Between September and June, the children join up with the Scuola Calcio groups/teams and receive the Juventus/adidas kit. Children selected via this initiative are completely integrated alongside other participants of the schools.
- The activities are run in a completely safe environment and are led by qualified coaching personnel who have attended Juventus University courses.
- The UNESCO Centre organises a training course for staff (both academic and sporting) and families, focusing on the concepts of solidarity and responsibility.
- All activities are monitored, ensuring the proper execution of technical programmes and overseeing the social and psychological evolution of the participants, teams and families.
- The centres involved in this project are located in three central areas of Turin and the immediate outskirts, meaning that they are easily accessible from a logistical perspective.
- Every centre is equipped with a support team working alongside the “project supervisor” (JSS Tutor), who oversees the activities and is the point of reference for all involved.
Mission and Objectives
- To promote a culture of integration, closely linking this to team sport and the social inclusion opportunities it creates.
- To give families the opportunity to have their child take part in team sport (in this case football), which they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.
- To reward children who, despite difficult living conditions, regularly attend school and achieve good results.
- To train coaches, families and teachers in the concepts of solidarity and responsibility.
- To combat all forms of racism and discrimination, both on and off the field, through the teaching of core values such as self-respect, respect for others, solidarity and equality.
The centres and schools
The project focuses on children from families blighted by economic and social problems, but who are deserving of reward due to their attendance, effort and behaviour at school.
In line with the project’s aim of promoting the values of equality and integration, no selection criteria (gender, nationality, culture) are imposed when identifying candidates.
The schools themselves have contributed to the definition of certain useful parameters for the selection of participants. The children are selected every year by the Turin UNESCO Centre and assigned to the various Scuola Calcio training bases.
To supplement the academic and sporting training, the children are provided both with a Juventus school kit and a Juventus/adidas training kit (including a pair of football boots, all free of charge).
The schools involved in the initiative are situated in three areas of Turin and the immediate outskirts. The areas are particularly affected by social issues and have been chosen based on their vicinity to the Scuola Calcio Juventus Sisport centres. Every year, three or four children from these areas are inserted into each group (seven or eight per centre), for a total of 22 participants per year.
The centres currently involved are located in Grugliasco, Settimo and district number 10 of the City of Turin.
The “Gioca con Me” project was launched in the 2012/13 season for children born in 2005. The project represents an opportunity to play in the black and white of Juventus for young boys and girls who, for social and economic reasons, would not otherwise be able to take part.
Twenty-two children per year are now incorporated into the Scuola Calcio's three-year activity programme. The children are assimilated into the various age groups and follow a technical and educational teaching programme in line with the JSS Model. The aim is to lead the young participants on a journey of integration and growth in a calm, safe and reliable environment.
Participants take part in the Piccoli Amici and Pulcini training programmes. The children are sorted by age in order to ensure continuity and maintain commitment, both in school and on the football pitch.
During the season the young boys and girls are involved in events and tournaments planned for their respective age categories. These are great occasions for enjoyment and learning, which put into practice all of the hard work invested during training sessions and give the children a chance to make new friends.
One such initiative takes place on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Every 21 March, the children involved in the project and their team-mates head to Vinovo, where they enjoy a day dedicated to integration, solidarity and fun.