Juventus Football Club has lent its support to the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination by welcoming 80 children from the ‘Kick Out Racism: Play With Me’ and ‘A Kick for Peace’ initiatives for a day of fun and football at Juventus Center.
Today’s event served as yet further demonstration of Juventus’ determination to combat every form of social discrimination, a mission that has been running since 2009, when, in collaboration with Turin’s UNESCO Center, a project was launched to promote universal values of peace, brotherhood and mutual respect.
This initiative, named ‘Kick Out Racism’, offers study grants to aid groups of 18 to 25 year olds from Italy and abroad, volunteer ONLUS (non-profit) associations in Piedmont and upper secondary institutions in setting up pro-integration, anti-racism projects.
The second project, Play With Me, launched in 2009, gives children who are at risk of social marginalisation the chance to join Juventus Soccer School academies for three years.
Both projects received deserved international recognition when they were chosen as part of ten social initiatives across five continents to be presented at last March’s auspicious event at UNESCO’s headquarters in Paris.
There to do the honours in the French capital was president Andrea Agnelli, who underlined Juventus’ commitment to tackling the issues of racism and social exclusion during his speech.
Today ‘Kick Out Racism: Play With Me’ welcomed an important ally in ‘A Kick for Peace’, an event organised by UPF (Universal Peace Foundation) and WFWP (Women’s Federation for World Peace).
This collaboration saw seven Israeli and seven Palestinian youngsters, all aged 11 and part of a team called the ‘Peace Dreamers’, travel to Vinovo to join the ‘Kick Out Racism: Play With Me’ project for an exciting five-a-side tournament on the Juventus Training Center pitches.
Once the matches had drawn to a close, all involved were presented with prizes by Gianluca Pessotto and the president of Turin’s UNESCO Center, Maria Paola Azzario Chiesa.
The academy chief remarked: “We’re here to promote fundamental values through play, passion for football and fun. The eyes of these children are transparent: as adults we need to ensure they remain the same.”
“Sport is clearly about integration and shared passion and there's nothing better than a team game in which everyone has to run together to achieve a common goal. That's the message we want to send out today. Because we've seen too many people running alone and if we want to create a better world we need to be running together towards the same goal.”