AEK Athens kicks off the second stage of Welcome through Football

12 October 2021

AEK Athens kicks off the second stage of Welcome through Football

Last week, the fist stage of the Welcome Through Football Project was completed by AEK Athens and the second stage was kicked off. The Welcome Through Football 2021 project aims to assist in the integration and inclusion of recently arrived young refugees, asylum seekers and young people with a migrant background. EFDN and partners will develop and test a European methodology that uses football as a tool to reach refugees and migrants from different ages (7-25 years old) to get them physically and social active in European communities. Moreover, the project assists football coaches and youth workers in the development and sharing of effective methods in reaching out to the marginalised target group, in preventing racism and intolerance.

To celebrate this step, the team went on a short trip to Patras, Greece’s “Gate to the West”. The children had a great time, even telling the coaches that it was the best day of their lives.

The children who are participating in the EFDN-coordinated project were hosted by the Academy ATLAS which is a member of AEK Athens’ Development Network. After visiting the fortress of Rio overlooking the famous Rio-Andirrio-Bridge, they competed in a friendly match against the athletes of the academy. The players wore jerseys with the logos of both teams, as well as the logos of EFDN, UEFA Respect, and the Athens Comics Library, which were created for this match.

The hospitality was concluded with a lunch in honour of the refugee children participating in the programme. The educational character of the event was used to highlight the social role of sports that aims to inspire and unite people regardless of their origin, skin colour, gender or religion.