Teaching school children values through football in Saudi Arabia
School children across the world dream of playing football, but what if parents and teachers encouraged this dream so that children also learn the importance of mutual respect, gain self-confidence and responsibility.
Shell and Football Club (FC) Barcelona Foundation have combined football and values to establish FutbolNet, a 12-week football training course that teaches children about respect, teamwork and commitment all through the enjoyable game of football.
This is the second year Shell, FC Barcelona Foundation and the Royal Commission kick off FutbolNet in Saudi Arabia. The program builds on last year’s successful season, when 20 dedicated coaches supported 300 boys in Jubail to participate in the program. The outcome was all the partners could hope for, happy children and a positive behavior change as seen by teachers and parents alike. Patrick Van Daele, Shell’s country chair in Saudi Arabia, and Dr. Mosleh Al-Otaibi, chief executive of the Royal Commission of Jubail, hosted the opening festival of this successful program.
Speaking on the occasion, Patrick Van Daele said: "It is such a delight to see children running, laughing and learning by playing. We intend to continue FutbolNet with our partners for a long time to come."
The same thoughts were echoed by participating children such as Abdelrahman Al-Hassan Al-Chebrani, who at 12 years old explains how FutbolNet helped him "since I started training with FutbolNet, my physical performance has improved a great deal. It has taught me a lot of new values such as cooperation and teamwork, and it has helped me boost my football skills as well."
The coach, Turky Al-Saed, sharing the benefits of this program said: "What most attracted me to the FutbolNet program was the opportunity to join a scheme that cleverly used a team sport to adjust the behavior of our youth. FutbolNet is helping our society by teaching children important values they will need in life, such as respect and teamwork."
Jordi Cardoner, vice president of the FC Barcelona Foundation, pledged his support to the initiative and said: "We are delighted to see our partnership with Shell continue for the second year in Saudi Arabia, where 300 boys will benefit again from FutbolNet in its first phase of the program in the city of Jubail. And we look forward to continue working together."
The Royal Commission actively supports FutbolNet, which has also been launched by Shell in Qatar, Iraq and Oman.
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