Young players taking part in the 2018/19 UEFA Youth League have been getting involved in community projects throughout the season.
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The impact of the UEFA Youth League has been felt well beyond the matches themselves as players across the continent have embraced the competition’s ethos of solidarity.
Since the start of the season, teams have been encouraged to take part in local community projects and they have risen to the challenge, with initiatives ranging from playing alongside people with disabilities to caring for the environment.
FC Porto, for example, supported children with serious disabilities who use dogs as therapy, while players from GNK Dinamo Zagreb visited a home for the elderly to promote solidarity through the generations. SSC Napoli donated footballs and equipment on a visit to a local youth prison, and their Montpellier Hérault SC counterparts took part in Project Rescue Ocean.
These successful experiences and many more from clubs participating in the tournament made a big impact in their communities – and the benefits did not end there. In each case, the UEFA Youth League donated money to the local projects selected by the clubs.
The solidarity drive continues at the finals, where the UEFA Foundation for Children will be involved with a Swiss blind football initiative by PluSport, the country’s disability sport association, at Stade de Colovray to promote awareness. Launched in 2015, the UEFA Foundation for Children promotes the rights of disadvantaged youngsters by using the power of football to improve their lives, and has already helped more than 800,000 children.
Fans will also have the opportunity to experience blind football for themselves at an inflatable training ground in the Youth Plaza, and the UEFA Youth League will make a donation to Switzerland’s blind football community via the UEFA Foundation for Children.
This article appears in the 2019 UEFA Youth League finals programme