FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, joined by first vice-president Jordi Cardoner, was in the Presidential Lounge at the Camp Nou to welcome the group of young Americans from the Public School Athletic League (PSAL) who have been invited by the Foundation to spend some days in Barcelona.
The institutional reception was the final event of a busy schedule that had started early on in the day at the Ciutat Esportiva training ground, where the youngsters took part in a special ‘FutbolNet’ session to learn about this methodology that fosters positive values and is being applied in some fifty countries around the world. The students were pleasantly surprised to be introduced to the caring aspect of the FC Barcelona Foundation and felt grateful and fortunate to have been able to take one of these sessions in such privileged surroundings. Marcos Mandojana, the consul general for the United States in Barcelona, joined the group in the afternoon and was there to watch how her compatriots performed on the field.
After that sporting activity, the group moved to the Camp Nou to watch the game between Barça and Sampdoria in the Joan Gamper Trophy. It was a new experience for them, and one that they’ll never forget, being such passionate fans of soccer as they are. When the game was over, Josep Maria Bartomeu and Jordi Cardoner welcomed them into the presidential lounge to thank them for coming to the city. The president reminded them that FC Barcelona, as well as being a competitive sports club, also uses soccer as an instrument for use in the education of young people, which is why it is considered by so many to be the club for the world’s children.
Sport for development
The FC Barcelona Foundation considers sport to be a powerful tool for personal development, social inclusion, gender equality and empowerment among young people. Its aim is to help improve society and transmit the positive values that it defends. That’s why it promotes such projects as ‘FutbolNet’, a pedagogic methodology that seeks to educate children by fostering the positive values derived from practicing sport. The project focuses on the peaceful resolution of conflicts, the reduction of aggressive behaviors, the transmission of healthy habits, encouragement of gender inclusion, reduction in school failure and the fostering of social inclusion.
At present, the project is working with more than 100,000 beneficiaries from around the world and is being applied in Catalonia, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Qatar and some forty African nations.