The FC Barcelona Foundation has invited a group of thirty adolescents, fifteen boys and fifteen girls, to travel from New York to Barcelona and take part in a special ‘FutbolNet’ session at the Ciutat Esportiva training ground. They all love sport and belong to soccer teams that compete in the Public School Athletic League (PSAL). Every year they go on a trip to somewhere in the world and this year accepted the Foundation’s invitation to come to Barcelona. The youngsters, who arrive in the city on Monday, are aged between 16 and 18 years and are secondary pupils at public schools in New York.

The solidarity action is part of FC Barcelona’s bid to promote its name in the United States, a country where the club is about to open a new office. The initiative also reflects the club’s social and educational side, which is one of the priorities involved in its expansion into the North American continent.

The Foundation has put together a fine sporting and cultural agenda for their visitors’ time in the Catalan capital. Things start on Tuesday at Barcelona City Council, where they will be welcomed by representatives of the local authorities. They will also be enjoying several training sessions including a special ‘FutbolNet’ session on Wednesday at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. A team of educators working on that programme will explain the peculiarities of this project to them – one that fosters positive values and in which the team that scores the most goals does not necessarily win. They’ll be able to do all that on top class facilities, after which they’ll head to the Camp Nou to be welcomed by president Bartomeu before enjoying the Gamper match.

Thursday will be more of a cultural day, when they will get the chance to visit the Camp Nou Experience and the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art (MACBA).

Soccer as a tool for social intervention

‘FutbolNet’ is a pedagogic methodology designed to educate youngsters by fostering the positive values derived from doing sport. The project focuses on the peaceful resolution of conflicts, reducing aggressive behaviours, transmitting healthy habits, encouraging gender inclusion, the reduction of academic failure and the promotion of social inclusion.

To date, the project has reached more than 100,000 beneficiaries from all around the world and is being applied in Catalonia, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Qatar and some forty African countries.