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UEFA Grassroots Football Week 2023: The benefits of the beautiful game

To celebrate UEFA Grassroots Week, we look at how getting involved in the game can help every aspect of our lives, no matter our age or ability.

Denmark's Football for Everyone! project, a 2023 UEFA Grassroots Awards winner
Denmark's Football for Everyone! project, a 2023 UEFA Grassroots Awards winner UEFA via Getty Images

The more people that play the game, the better. Not just to create the stars of tomorrow that we love to watch in Europe’s elite competitions, but also because of the wider benefits that football brings to society.

For almost 70 years, UEFA has worked with its member associations to give everybody, everywhere in Europe the opportunity to play football in a safe and quality-controlled environment.

People often think that grassroots, or amateur football, is geared solely towards children's development, but our mission is based on the premise that everyone can benefit, regardless of age or ability.

Five reasons to why you should get involved with your local football club

1) Improve your health and fitness

Playing football regularly offers a full-body workout. You lose weight, build muscle and develop a healthy lifestyle. When we exercise, our body releases mood-boosting endorphins, so it's also a natural way of tackling anxiety and reducing stress.

2) Meet new people

Whether you live in a city or a village in the countryside, grassroots football is usually played between teams representing local communities. That means it’s a great way to meet people and make new friends from different backgrounds.

It’s also a team sport. On and off the field, you can build confidence in vital social skills such as communication and leadership.

3) Develop skills you never knew you had

Playing football helps improve hand-eye or foot-eye coordination, thanks to the range of movements and speeds involved kicking and receiving the ball. Think about how passing, dribbling and turning all vary from your normal day-to-day movements.

A UEFA Playmakers event, which helps get girls aged 5-8 into playing football,  during the Budapest Fan Festival ahead of the 2023 UEFA Europa League final
A UEFA Playmakers event, which helps get girls aged 5-8 into playing football, during the Budapest Fan Festival ahead of the 2023 UEFA Europa League final UEFA via Getty Images

4) Score goals, on and off the pitch!

You don’t have to lift trophies to be a winner with football. Whether through personal improvement or team success, playing the game can give you a boost and improve your confidence. There is no feeling quite like scoring a goal, whether that’s hitting the back of the net or meeting your own personal targets.

5) You only need a ball and a place to play

One of the game's great beauties is its simplicity. All it requires to have some fun is a ball and some space. It could be as small as a backyard or as big as a local playing field! Football's rules, or Laws of the Game, are easy to pick up and adaptable for different types of game.

Other ways to get involved in football

There are plenty of ways to participate in your local football club or community beyond playing.

Be a grassroots football coach

Available in all European countries, the UEFA C licence provides a clear development pathway for anyone looking to enhance their coaching skills, from parents and volunteers to teachers and anyone else who already holds a training position.

The new UEFA C Diploma for grassroots coaches

Learn more about UEFA's grassroots coaching diploma

Be a referee

European football has launched a campaign to recruit thousands of new referees, especially to help support the grassroots game. If you’re interested in signing up, watch UEFA’s 'Be A Referee!' video.

Be a Referee!

How to become a referee where you are