Duke of Cambridge attends launch of Football for Peace #FootballSavesLives campaign with international footballers
The event honoured the Young Peace Leaders from across the UK who graduated from the City for Peace initiative this year. Through this programme, FfP works in conjunction with local councils, football clubs and schools to train young people aged 15-18 in how to unite their communities on and off the pitch, from running local football tournaments to organising classroom workshops to discuss the issues currently dividing their communities.
On the day, The Duke attended a workshop on tolerance and team building, which was delivered by FfP tutors and attended by Young Peace Leaders. His Royal Highness then met the charity’s Footballing Ambassadors and students who took part in breaking down a wall with footballs in a message against hate and violence to support the #FootballSavesLives campaign.
"I am delighted that the #FootballSavesLives campaign, launched today, will see more of you trained to bring young people from across the country together. Football is not just a game. It is part of the fabric of this nation – providing a common interest and a unifying identity. It brings us together in the enjoyment of a simple pastime, without complication, but with plenty of passion!” the Duke of Cambridge said in a speech.
The #FootballSavesLives Campaign
#FootballSavesLives selects 500 young peace leaders from different faiths, cultures and backgrounds, teaching them football diplomacy and life skills. Each engages around 30 divided youth in their community, through running local football tournaments to organising workshops and discussions. The campaign will reach 15,000 young people across the UK by 2020, and results are set to include a reduction of youth hate crimes and violence, reduced isolation and increased confidence.
How to Get Involved
It costs £1,000 to fund each young peace leader through their entire training and change lives. Anyone can help to reach the target of £500,000, by giving a one-off or regular gift of any amount today, at footballsaveslives.org.
“With the #FootballSavesLives campaign, we want to encourage all football lovers and peace defenders to support our pledge to train the next generation of Young Peace Leaders to create more peaceful and tolerant communities across the UK. These schools in normal instance, hardly mix let alone play on same teams, the country needs more integration activities”, says FfP co-founder Kashif Siddiqi.
Adding to this, Arsenal player Mesut Ozil said “I am proud to support an initiative which brings people together in the divided times we are living in”.
Football for Peace: An overview
Football for Peace is a grassroots football movement with diplomatic impact, championing the power of the beautiful game to bring people of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds together on the pitch, while fostering understanding and tolerance off it. Supported by international personalities including Ronaldinho and The Duke of Cambridge, Football for Peace organises Peace Matches, one-off football matches held annually around the world to raise awareness of football diplomacy and promote a message of equality and peace. FfP also provides football and leadership training for youth from different faiths, cultures and backgrounds through a local community programme, Cities for Peace. Futbol Por La Paz (Football for Peace) was established in 2006 by FIFA and Chilean legend Elias Figueroa and co-founded internationally in 2013 by British South Asian International Footballer, Kashif Siddiqi.
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