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Danes go back to school in a good cause

Published: Monday 19 July 2010, 19.17CET
The Danish national team made good use of the publicity surrounding their FIFA World Cup preparations by giving their backing to grassroots football and an education for all initiative.
by Maria de Leon & Pia Schou Nielsen
Danes go back to school in a good cause
Before appearing at the FIFA World Cup, the Denmark players turned up at their old schools ©Getty Images
Published: Monday 19 July 2010, 19.17CET

Danes go back to school in a good cause

The Danish national team made good use of the publicity surrounding their FIFA World Cup preparations by giving their backing to grassroots football and an education for all initiative.

Denmark's leading footballers have returned to their roots as the Danish Football Association (DBU) continues to support good causes at home and abroad.

On the home front, Morten Olsen's national team players set aside 20 May – the day after the inaugural UEFA Grassroots Day – to visit their childhood football clubs and schools as part of a nationwide Back to Grassroots event.

The 26 players took time off from Denmark's FIFA World Cup preparations in order to make appearances at the places where it all began for them as footballers. In visiting local clubs and engaging in activities ranging from training sessions to classroom experiments, the country's elite players were also giving their backing to the 1GOAL global campaign for education.

1GOAL is being promoted by the DBU partner, IBIS, a Danish-based development organisation working at global, national and local levels to create equal access to education. National team midfielder Jakob Poulsen, an ambassador for the campaign, said: "We are very lucky in Denmark where we have a very good and flexible education system. But unfortunately millions of children around the world never go to school. We are delighted to be able to help the world understand that there are still children who don't even learn how to read."

The DBU and the Denmark team have a tradition of working with humanitarian organisations and NGOs on social and health issues, particularly around high-profile events such as World Cups and UEFA European Championships. This was the first time, however, that footballers and organisations have joined forces to create awareness of the right to education of all children.

Last updated: 19/07/10 19.47CET

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