Despite the postponement of EURO 2020, UEFA quickly committed to its 2020–24 funding cycle for HatTrick – the football development programme which, every four years, channels UEFA EURO revenue to UEFA’s 55 member associations. In a special series, we talk to five national associations about ground-breaking football projects that will continue to thrive thanks to UEFA’s commitment.
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Every Italian student aged between 10 and 13 gets a chance to score with ‘Tutti in Goal’ (All in Goal) – a pioneering grassroots and education programme launched in 2020 by the Italian Football Association (FIGC) and the education and research ministry (MIUR).
By teaching boys and girls not only to play in but also to run five-a-side tournaments, the initiative shows how football can be a vehicle to teach skills that stretch far beyond the school playing fields.
Teams are assessed on their educational as well as sporting achievements, with all participants encouraged to take part in every aspect of running competitions, from logistics and promotion to communication and even refereeing.
Children unable to play matches can learn media skills such as photography, videography and writing news reports about the tournament.
All you need to know about the sporting and education goals of ‘Tutti in Goal’
The competition progresses from inter-school to provincial, regional and, finally, national format, with teams competing for the overall title of Italian champions. But winning is not among the four main goals of the programme:
1 - Promote participation and develop self-organisation skills through the involvement of all class members;
2 - Communicate the positive values linked to football, such as fair play, integration, inclusion, respect, commitment, team-building, and a sense of belonging;
3 - Enhance the involvement of young people in sport, using it as a means to develop social skills; and
4 - Prevent school dropout, bullying and exclusion.
How do the participating schools benefit?
- Provision of official promotional and educational material.
- Italian football legends will visit some schools to support the initiative.
- The FIGC will reward the winning school by funding the construction of a new pitch or the provision of a safe space equipped for playing football.
- Winning students will participate in the UEFA Football School Festival in Rome in May 2021, which will bring together school representatives from the 12 EURO 2020 host cities.
Given the health and safety challenges of staging school sports competitions in the current period, ‘Tutti in Goal’ switched its focus to a new educational project called ‘Il Tifo che fa bene’ (‘Cheering for good’).
The initiative invited students, teachers and parents in 108 Italian schools to produce a video to boost national morale and show support and solidarity to Italy.
An astonishing 3,000 students responded to the call for action, uploading 1,205 videos. You can watch some of the most creative here.
Vito Tisci, president of the youth and school sector at the Italian Football Association:
“Despite the problems created by the pandemic, the Italian Football Association, through its youth and school sector, has maintained close contact with our grassroots clubs and our young players through innovative and digital tools.
“The ‘Tutti in Goal’ project used a digital platform dedicated to school football and was aimed at students of all levels. It helped spread positive messages and engaged young Italian players in a video competition, allowing students to respect the safety protocols while supporting our country to resist the virus and provide hope for the future.
“The project is a great example of how football can be used as an educational and communication tool to promote positivity.
“Our wish is that in May 2021 we can finally celebrate our game all together in Rome at the first European schools’ football festival, which will open the 2020 European Championships”.
How has the COVID 19 pandemic impacted ‘Tutti in Goal’?
The official registration phase for schools was completed in 2019/20. Currently, 342 schools are taking part in ‘Tutti in Goal’, which adds up to 326 teachers and 9,287 students. A further 100–150 schools signed up directly through the ministry of education and research’s website.
Unfortunately, Italy’s lockdown prevented the football competition taking place this season. Plans are in place to return to play during the 2020/21 season.
Is the Italian Football Association using HatTrick funding to support any other projects?
Yes. The FIGC runs a women’s football project called ‘Ragazze in gioco’ (‘Girls at play’).
Like ‘Tutti in Goal’, the initiative combines football and educational goals in an all-girls’ five-a-side tournament.
Successful teams progress from regional competitions to a national tournament, with participants asked to contribute by writing reports, taking photos and producing videos. There is also a wild card place in the final, awarded to the team with the most successful educational results.
This project has empowered schools to build closer connections with local grassroots clubs, increasing opportunities for girls across Italy to play football regularly.
More information about the project is available here.