Ramon Pont, vice president of the FC Barcelona Foundation, Anthony Lake, executive director of Unicef, Marc Bartra and seventy five children from CEIP Pegaso de Barcelona / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

In an event in Sala París, the FC Barcelona Foundation and Unicef have reaffirmed their commitment to improving the lives of millions of boys and girls through sport and education. Ramon Pont, vice president of the FC Barcelona Foundation, Anthony Lake, executive director of Unicef, Marc Bartra and seventy five children from the CEIP Pegaso School in Barcelona met to speak about the importance of sport in the lives of children. "FC Barcelona is fully committed to working with Unicef to raise awareness of the situation of children around the world and to promote sport and education”, said Ramon Pont.

The importance of sport for children

Unicef recognises the essential function of physical activity and sport in the lives of children. Preparation for sport and play contributes to their physical and psychological development and offers basic values and skills for life in general, such as discipline, teamwork, equality and respect for others. Sport and play can also help in the fight against discrimination and exclusion in marginalised groups, which includes disabled children.

"Unicef can congratulate itself for its association with FC Barcelona. Through this collaboration, Unicef and FC Barcelona have committed to providing millions of children the opportunity to receive an education, experience the joy of sport and learn positive values through physical education, sport and play”, said Anthony Lake, on his first ever visit to FC Barcelona.

Marc Bartra, along with Ramon Pont and Anthony Lake, have answered questions put to them by a group of children. Most of them were about Unicef, the children in other countries, football and why FC Barcelona has this agreement with Unicef.

Programme aimed at Brazil, China, Ghana and South Africa

FC Barcelona contributes a total of 1.5 million euros a year to support the work of Unicef and get aid to 16,000 schools in four countries: Brazil, China, Ghana and South Africa. More than 5,000 teachers and coaches will be trained in ways to integrate sport and other such positive values in school curricula. These schools will also receive sports material and improved infrastructures for application to physical education and sport programmes.

Lake declares love for Barça

The executive director of Unicef, Anthony Lake, also openly declared that he is an FC Barcelona fan. “I’m diplomatic, but most of all I am a fan, and I’m a Barça fan”. Lake mentioned several anecdotes in relation to the World Cup Final between Spain and Holland, which he watched with other dignitaries, and also revealed a Barça top underneath his shirt. He also directed some words at Marc Bartra, who required no introduction to Lake, with the latter encouraging him to continue making such fine progress.