06 September 2016
Education, integration and the rejection of all forms of discrimination are the core objectives of the strategic partnership between Juventus and UNESCO.
And these were also the underlying themes of today's meeting at Juventus Stadium, where five J|Academy coaches met UNESCO expert Norman Brook, who gave a presentation illustrating the finer details of the initiative and much more.
Today also saw the introduction of a "soft skills" manual, drawing on UNESCO’s far-reaching experience. This aims to complement Juventus’ training, by guaranteeing the best possible education for children both on and off the field.
The document – which is oriented towards J|Academy coaches – will provide guidelines on how to offer a complete educational approach which places great attention on fostering cognitive abilities considered fundamental for the youngsters’ development.
The manual, which will be gradually introduced into the training plans of all Juventus Academies globally, is designed to equip coaches with the necessary tools to support the youngsters’ development (including their emotional and social growth) in three different age bands (5-7 years, 8-10 years, 11-12 years). The aim is to help the coaches support the children as they make technical and tactical improvements as well as progressing on a physical and mental level. The manual is based on the UNESCO International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and draws particular inspiration from the benefits that individuals, families and communities gain from taking part in sporting activities. According to the principles of the manual, these benefits are fundamental for the development of the youngsters’ psychosocial abilities and can be effectively conveyed through the game of football. In all of this, the coaches themselves have the crucial role of ensuring the physical and psychological wellbeing of the children who participate in the J|Academies. To this end, the manual contains a series of techniques – including conversation methods, best practices and specific training ideas – aimed at helping the coaches provide the youngsters with the best support possible.
The manual will also be an important tool as far as the "Gioca Con Me" initiative is concerned, which enables a total of 60 youngsters between the ages of five and 17 to train with Juventus Academies in their countries, completely free of charge. The project – which has been running in Turin since 2012 – aims to make it easier for young people belonging to the more disadvantaged social classes to be able to practice sport. The project uses football as a catalyst to promote a culture of respect, tolerance and social awareness.
The initiative presented today is part of Juventus’ wider sustainability strategy. Juventus maintains an open, innovative approach in order to define a sustainability strategy that is fully integrated within the club’s business operations and ensures a comprehensive sustainability governance policy.
Commenting on today's events for Juventus was J|Academy sporting director Gianluca Pessotto, who said: "It's a very important day. We have the opportunity to equip our coaches with greater knowledge and information regarding the club's aims, enabling them to convey Juventus' educational aspects as well as technical ones. Then again, it's our aim to develop the youngsters as men and people before footballers. This, naturally, comes through the principles of the game of football. "
"In light of these objectives, the "Gioca Con Me" project also takes on a big importance. Football is all about integration, as well as fun and passion. We want to hand many youngsters the opportunity to enjoy a unique experience with us and understand our values. We've seen this in Turin and the project will now be rolled out in the rest of the world."
In the video below, Philipp Muller-Wirth, UNESCO's Executive Officer for Sport, discusses the day's events and the relationship between UNESCO and Juventus.