Following the success of the first UEFA Grassroots Day, held in Madrid three days before the 2010 UEFA Champions League final, the UEFA Executive Committee has declared Wednesday as the second UEFA Grassroots Day.
The aim is to celebrate and recognise grassroots football programmes and activities throughout Europe during the week leading up to Saturday's UEFA Champions League final at Wembley Stadium.
"The timing of Grassroots Day, just before the prestigious elite football final, is of great significance," UEFA said. "The elite game relies heavily on the grassroots, foundations without which it would crumble and collapse. At the same time, the stars and top clubs inspire the next generation of players, coaches, referees, officials and fans."
A UEFA Grassroots Day schools tournament, organised by the English Football Association (FA), will be staged in Hyde Park on the UEFA Champions Festival mini-pitch on Wednesday, between 13.00 and 15.15 local time. The tournament forms part of a whole week of events for the Young Champions programme, while famous faces will be on hand to act as UEFA grassroots ambassadors.
A photo call has been organised for 14.00 local time on the festival mini-pitch with the players, as well as UEFA technical director Andy Roxburgh and the FA director of football development Sir Trevor Brooking, who will then both be available for media interviews.
In addition to the main events in London, the UEFA Grassroots Day website gives UEFA's 53 member associations an opportunity to showcase their grassroots work and to keep up to date with the activities planned in their country or region. The site also provides educational material on key topics such as winning, losing and teamwork. Teachers, coaches and parents can access online lessons designed to aid youngsters' understanding of values that have huge sporting, educational and social significance.
"The recognition and celebration of grassroots football on UEFA Grassroots Day is something really special and an initiative wholeheartedly supported by everyone who carries the game close to their hearts," UEFA added.
In the aftermath of the London proceedings, the UEFA Executive Committee will decide on this season's UEFA Grassroots Awards in the following categories: Best Grassroots Project, Best Grassroots Club and Best Grassroots Leader. The decisions will be made at the next UEFA Executive Committee meeting, taking place at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, on 16 and 17 June.
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