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Denmark: Better football opportunities for children with challenges

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‘En del af holdet’ (Part of the Team) is the name of a new project that aims to provide better football opportunities for children with disabilities and/or special needs in Denmark.

Martin Hungeberg

Currently, fewer than 10% of children with disabilities or diagnoses in Denmark play sport in a club.

The Danish Football Association and Parasport Denmark are working together on the project, which is also supported by the Danish men’s and women’s national teams. In June 2022, the men’s national team received the minister of culture’s sports prize and a grant of 100,000 Danish kroner (€13,400).

The team’s three captains, Simon Kjær, Kasper Schmeichel and Christian Eriksen, decided to donate the prize money towards efforts to get children with various challenges into sports clubs.

Unique experiences and a sense of community

“Football can provide unique experiences and a sense of community that mean a lot to all children, including children with challenges. We want all children to experience football’s solidarity and community regardless of their background, and that is why we are happy to pass the money on to the Part of the Team project,” said the trio of captains.

The project aims to create a tailored football concept that encourages more children and young people to participate in football and remain engaged in the sport. The project has received a grant of over 3.6 million Danish kroner (€483,000) from the Novo Nordisk Foundation, which will be used to train coaches, provide equipment and organise local activities.

The project also plans to develop a football festival concept to give children an opportunity to experience football and meet like-minded others across clubs and schools.

This article appeared originally in UEFA Direct 201