Life skills on the football pitch
Together with Ajax Foundation we run football clinics for disadvantaged youngsters. Many of them have hardly any experience of sports as they come from deprived areas. To identify and encourage talent for sport we invite them to join a clinic, where we practise ball control, dribbling and finishing.
But the clinics don’t just leave it at football: we teach these kids life skills, such as treating each other with respect and in a sporting manner both on and off the pitch. In addition, Ajax runs a programme to turn our colleagues into assistant coaches and so encourages them to play their part in the project – by assisting at the football clinics, but also by running training sessions at schools in deprived areas of Amsterdam.
Foundation Volunteer Marcel van Velsen
Continuous Improvement Lead
“Sport is the ideal metaphor for the importance of social skills. Drawing on types of exercise, rules and Ajax role models, these youngsters learn the skills they need to be successful, both on and off the football pitch. Discipline, respect for others, working together, self-improvement – these are all qualities some children don’t learn at home. And that matters, because they’re so important. The great thing about this project is that the kids themselves hear, see and feel the impact of these life lessons, simply by doing what they enjoy: sport.”
Foundation Volunteer Ruben Uithol
“I’ve been in on this project for three years now and I’m still incredibly keen. Some stories really open your eyes. Ajax Foundation and ABN AMRO Foundation are of a single mind: we both want to assist disadvantaged children, help them develop and have fun, preferably by getting them moving. The rewards are huge: the sheer joy in the eyes of these kids is so priceless. This benefits all of us, both at work and outside of work.”