Just like football’s World Cup, Kindred Group positively embraces opportunities for diversity, healthy lifestyle choices, fair play and hard work. We are therefore delighted to partner with the European Football for Development Network (EFDN) in its bid to encourage over-35s to make the right choices and lead healthier, more active lives through football.
I’m very excited about Kindred’s new involvement with the EFDN’s Active Fans Programme and have been lucky enough to snatch a few moments with the CEO of EFDN himself, Hubert Rovers, who is happy to shed some light on some of my initial questions.
Firstly, what is the EFDN?
“Essentially, the EFDN is a network of professional football clubs, all committed to using the power of football to make important social changes across communities all over Europe.”
Who is part of the EFDN?
“We are 70 clubs and two leagues from 26 European countries, who all benefit from our partnerships with sporting organisations like: the Fare Network; the Centre for Access in Football Europe (CAFE); the Social Football Club Alliance; the European Healthy Stadia Network; the European Club Association and UEFA Foundation for Children – all these keep a firm focus on social responsibility.”
How does the EFDN make social changes through football?
“We reach out to various target groups by sharing knowledge and developing special training methods that ultimately make communities more socially responsible. Apart from improving health and wellbeing, football can tackle racism, youth unemployment and even school absenteeism.”
Another important aspect is uniting people from different backgrounds so that they can use new skills and resources to make a difference in their own lives and those within their communities.
Hubert explains: “We address social problems and set up fitness programmes which lead to very positive social changes. The programmes unite people from different backgrounds and addressing social problems through fitness,”
Indeed, it has to be said that football is everywhere. Whether it is through buying a ticket to go and watch your home team in the stadium, playing a match yourself, watching a streamed match online or in the pub, or by talking about yesterday’s results by the coffee machine: football dominates our society. It’s great to see.
I’m interested to see how football can make social changes through organisations working together across several European borders. There are a couple of programmes that seem to be causing a stir these days within the EFDN, so it’s time to ask:
What is the Active Fans Programme?
“We are keen for European men and women from the age of 35 years old to get physically active and healthy.”
Coordinated by EFDN, Active Fans works with 9 project partners; Fulham FC Foundation, Vitesse Betrokken, Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Rangers FC Foundation, Ferencváros TC, PSV Foundation, Feyenoord Rotterdam, KAA Gent and Valerenga Football to make things happen. We are very glad to have Kindred Group on board to help spread the healthy living message.”
What’s The Healthy Football League?
“It’s a fun online competition encouraging Active Fans to play for their clubs to become the healthiest in Europe. Each player scores points for their club, even after they’ve finished their 12-week Active Fans Programme.”
And finally, what made the EFDN partner up with Kindred?
“Just like Kindred, the EFDN combines sport and social responsibility. As football can have a hugely positive impact on society, we saw a natural fit between EFDN and Kindred - we’re really proud to have you as partners in the Active Fans Programme.”
I’m so pleased to have had the opportunity to speak to Hubert and to understand a little more about how powerful partnerships with professional football clubs can bring about positive social changes to communities.
Kindred’s decision to partner with the EFDN leads on nicely from our sponsorship deals on other sporting events such as last year’ Swedish elite football leagues, Allsvenskan and Superettan and this year’s International Handball Federation (IHF) World Championship. Sponsorships such as these demonstrate our core values for collaboration and social responsibility.
Click here for more information on the EFDN and its Active Fans Programme.