Young footballers from across the Arab world are benefiting from a development programme launched by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) and Qatar Football Association (QFA), in collaboration with Jordan-based Aurora for Training and Development.
The One Goal Arabia programme is working with professional players aged 16-17 from 19 Arab countries. The initiative was launched ahead of the FIFA Arab Cup™, which took place in Qatar last November and December. The project comprises five programme areas and is designed to shine a spotlight on development issues and encourage a generation of Arab footballers to utilise football to deliver positive social change.
One Goal Arabia utilises Generation Amazing’s football for development methodology. Generation Amazing is a FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ legacy programme that was launched by the SC in 2010 and has positively impacted more than 725,000 people across the world.
Speaking at the halfway point of the One Goal Arabia project, Mansoor Al Ansari, General Secretary of the QFA, said: “We were very happy to participate in the Generation Amazing Festival 2021 and interact with ambassadors from the One Goal Arabia programme. This initiative is a critical milestone for empowering our youth and supporting their growth, while capitalising their positions as role models to raise awareness on ethical, inclusive and sustainable development issues.”
Since its launch, participants have taken part in workshops organised by leading organisations in the sport for development field and introduced to the role sport can play in addressing social issues. There were sessions on philanthropy, sustainable development goals, climate action, inclusion, mental health and safeguarding. Organisations involved in the project include the SC, the United Nations Development Programme, Qatar Foundation, the Special Olympics, Loughborough University and Coaches Across Continents.
“The One Goal Arabia initiative has allowed a diverse group of young leaders the opportunity to develop as global citizens,” said Generation Amazing Programmes Director, Nasser Al Khori. “With access to Generation Amazing's football for development programme, the participants have built their leadership and life skills. They are now ready for the second half of the programme. They will create their programmes to share with younger peers across their local communities in the lead-up to and beyond Qatar 2022.”
A number of participants attended the Generation Amazing Festival 2021, which took place in Qatar during the FIFA Arab Cup™. During the festival, which ran under the theme, ‘All In’, players celebrated Arab solidarity and took part in a series of interactive activities with more than 200 participants from the region. This included the ‘All In’ football tournament, which was designed to encourage players to challenge their communication and problem-solving skills.
“We would like to take this opportunity to thank our educators for their valuable contribution and inspiring sessions. They have played a central role in sharing the latest developments in their respective fields, bringing our One Goal Arabia ambassadors to the forefront of this important dialogue,” said Amani Al Qadi, Founder, Aurora for Training and Development.
Players were joined by representatives from their football associations who will be taking part in a dedicated programme which aims to build capacity in positive youth development and ensure ambassadors have support beyond their training to achieve their full potential.
Young Palestine player Natali Abudayyeh shared her experience so far. She said: “The highlight for me is knowing that I am not going through this alone. We are all athletes, we are all footballers. It’s been really interesting to see how we all participate and what our priorities are while learning from each other.”
Participants will now take part in the peer education segment of the programme. They will work with educators to explore inclusive leadership, ethical volunteering and impact management before creating their own programmes to share with younger peers across their local communities.