Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 7 February 2016 - School children across the world dream of playing football, but what if parents and teachers encouraged this dream so that children also learn the importance of mutual respect, gain self-confidence and responsibility.
Shell and Football Club (FC) Barcelona Foundation have combined football and values to establish FutbolNet, a 12 week football training course that teaches children about respect, teamwork and commitment all through the enjoyable game of football.
This is the second year Shell, FC Barcelona Foundation and the Royal Commission kick off FutbolNet in Saudi Arabia. The programme builds on last year’s successful season, when 20 dedicated coaches supported 300 boys in the Jubail area to participate in the progreamme. The outcome was all the partners could hope for, happy children and a positive behaviour change as seen by teachers and parents alike.
Patrick Van Daele, Shell’s Country Chair in Saudi Arabia and H.E. Dr Mosleh Al-Otaibi, Chief Executive of the Royal Commission of Jubail hosted the opening festival of this successful programme.
Speaking on the occasion, Patrick Van Daele states that “it is such a delight to see children running, laughing and learning by playing. We intend to continue FutbolNet with our partners for a long time to come.”
The same thoughts were echoed by participating children such as Abdelrahman Al Hassan Al Chebrani, who at 12 years old explains how FutbolNet helped him "since I started training with FutbolNet, my physical performance has improved a great deal. It has taught me a lot of new values such as co-operation and teamwork, and it has helped me boost my football skills as well."
The coach of this programme, Turky Al Saed shared the benefits of this programme: "what most attracted me to the FutbolNet programme was the opportunity to join a scheme that cleverly used a team sport to adjust the behaviour of our nation’s youth. FutbolNet is helping our society by teaching children important values they will need in life, such as respect and teamwork."
Mr. Jordi Cardoner, Vice-President of the FC Barcelona Foundation, pledged his support to the initiative and said "we are delighted to see our partnership with Shell continue for the second year in Saudi Arabia, where 300 boys will benefit again from FutbolNet in its first phase of the programme in the city of Jubail. And we look forward to continue working together".
The Royal Commission actively supports FutbolNet, which has also been launched by Shell in Qatar, Iraq and Oman.