Wednesday 25 May 2022, 05:00

Living Football: Schools, mentoring and ball donations

  • A new episode of Living Football is now online

  • We tour schools around the world with the Football for Schools project

  • Find out the destination of 200 official balls donated by FIFA Foundation

In the most recent episode of Living Football, we continue to highlight FIFA's commitment to making football truly global. Currently, much effort is focused on schools around the globe thanks to the Football for Schools programme, which has been going full steam ahead in recent months. In addition, we have an interesting conversation between Pia Sundhage and Tracey Kevins talking about the FIFA Coach Mentorship Programme. And last but not least, we reveal the destination of the official footballs provided to NGOs chosen by members of the FIFA Fan Movement and distributed through the FIFA Foundation.

What is the Football for Schools programme about? Who are the beneficiaries? What challenges do they face? What life skills can be fostered through football? Alexandre Gros, the Football for Schools Project Leader, talks extensively about this wonderful initiative that is seeking to change the lives of young people the world over through students and teachers who are truly passionate about the game.

Meanwhile, Brazil coach Pia Sundhage and Tracey Kevins, coach of the USA U-20 women’s national team, have begun working together as part of the FIFA Coach Mentorship Programme. The veteran Swede, who led USA to runners-up spot at the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in 2011 and picked up the FIFA World Coach of the Year award for women’s football in 2012, will look to pass on her wealth of knowledge to her mentee. "You get to see things through the vast experience of the mentors, and I secretly wanted to be paired with Pia. So, when I got the news, I was ecstatic about working with her," Tracey Kevins admitted with a laugh.

Finally, this episode of Living Football closes with a mystery solved. What happened to the official footballs from the FIFA competitions that could not be played due to the Covid-19 pandemic? We can now reveal that 200 official balls and 2,000 mini-balls went to local projects chosen by the FIFA Fan Movement in different parts of the world.

From the Philippines to Guatemala, through India and other destinations, these balls ended up in the hands of young people looking to overcome a variety of difficulties in life using football as a springboard to get ahead.