Following the success of the 'FutbolNet' project in the Middle East over the last two seasons, the FC Barcelona Foundation and Shell have decided to extend the programme's geographical reach by taking it to Saudi Arabia for 2015. The country will see more than 300 youngsters between the ages of 7 and 16 years given help by the initiative.
On Monday the FC Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu and the Director General and President of Qatar Shell Companies Wael Sawan signed an agreement to extent the project to new ground as well as securing its continuing present in Qatar, Oman and Iraq until 2016. In total the programme in the Middle East will help some 4,000 children.
'Futbol Net' for girls in Iraq
As of some months ago, the 'Futbol Net' project now incorporates sessions for girls in both Qatar and Oman. This new aspect of the programme has been extremely well received and is in large part due to the extensive work carried out by the Foundation's teams within the local communities. In the light of this success, this season a group will also be formed in Iraq where the project will begin in December with more than a hundred girls taking part in the initiative which aims to promote positive values under the guidance of local educational staff.
New season in Qatar and Oman
The new season in Qatar and Oman got under way in October and in Qatar once again this year, as well as the promotion of positive values, the project is also focusing on healthy eating habits due to high levels of child obesity recorded in the Middle Eastern country.
In Qatar, Iraq and Oman the project has been lauded by those children taking part and by their families. According to results gathered by the Foundation for the season 2013/14, all three nations recorded high levels of satisfaction with the programmes as well as academic improvements and a reduction in aggressive behaviour amongst the youngsters.