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Core partnerships

Core partnership

UEFA's social responsibility strategy features long-standing core partnerships with:
Special Olympics (SO) – Football for all abilities
Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) – Leading the fight against racism and discrimination
Cross Cultures Open Fun Football Schools – Reconciliation and peace promotion
World Heart Federation (WHF) – Health and fighting child obesity

Special Olympics (SO)
Provides opportunities to more than 3.1 million athletes with intellectual disabilities in over 170 countries. The Special Olympics Europe Eurasia-UEFA Football Development Project began in 1998 and aims, primarily, to involve more players with intellectual disabilities in football.

• Participant numbers increased from 30,000 to 110,000
• New football programmes started in eight eastern European countries.
• National football coordinators' network expanded to 48 countries.
• SO European Football Week established with 50,000 athletes and 48 countries.
• Ambassador network expanded to 23 countries.
• Production of four training videos and DVDs.
• Distribution of over 200 grants to 50 countries.
• 13 European football competitions.

Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE)
Formed in 1999 in Vienna, FARE represents NGOs, fan groups, migrant and ethnic minority organisations and individuals in over 40 countries. Over the last ten years, activities by FARE and UEFA have heightened awareness of discrimination in football and how best to tackle it.

UEFA supports FARE in such activities as:
• October Action Week – team captains wear Unite Against Racism armbands and anti-racism messages are broadcast on the big screens at UEFA Champions League matches.
• Unite Against Racism conferences – most recently in Warsaw in 2009.
• Grassroots events such as the Mondiali Antirazzisti.
• Fan embassy project at UEFA EURO 2008.

Cross Cultures Open Fun Football Schools
Creating schools in post-conflict areas with the aim of using children's football as means of facilitating friendship and sporting cooperation between people living in divided communities.

• Since 1998, more than 1,000 Open Fun Football Schools have opened for 200,000 boys and girls in ten countries in some of the most politically turbulent areas in Europe.
• 150 Open Fun Football Schools organised in the Balkans and Transcaucasus in 2009 for 30,000 seven to eleven-year-old girls and boys of different ethnic and social backgrounds.
• Recruitment and education of some 2,800 volunteer coaches to lead these sessions.

World Heart Federation (WHF)
The WHF is committed to helping people achieve a longer and better life through the prevention and control of heart diseases and strokes. The focus of its partnership with UEFA is promoting healthy lifestyles for children and tackling childhood obesity.

• Eat for Goals! Cookbook launched in September 2008 – contributions from 13 internationally renowned male and female footballers to help convey the message that a healthy lifestyle requires healthy food. A paperback edition of the book is now available.
• Promoting healthy lifestyles through its children's programmes.
• UEFA also supports World Heart Day, which takes place on the last Sunday of September each year.