The best moments are when you go into the groups in schools and you really experience what happens there. You get outside the office and you really see how the programme impacts kids.
For two hours, twice a week over a period of up to two years, kids between the ages of 8 and 12 can take part in this inclusive initiative. Activities on offer range from rap-poetry slams and museum visits to language lessons and football trainings.
More than a decade after its birth, FtK has witnessed incredible results. From the very start, families were thrilled about this project, and demand for places remains high. Children’s’ significant improvements in language fluency and social competences, as well as their enhanced creativity and a better sense of the world of art and culture have boosted their overall appetite for knowledge.
Children are placed at the core of this project. This conscious decision is reflected in the flagship event of the annual closing football tournament with the presence of Litti, the official mascot created by the kids themselves. Thanks to the cooperation of 33 programme groups in 22 German cities and support of many professional football clubs, children from all over the country can participate in this tournament and even meet some of their favourite football players!
After a period of two years kids have to leave the programme, so that others can join. When it is time to say goodbye, there is a bittersweet feeling. Founder Karin Plötz recalls an occasion in Frankfurt when two 10-year olds from China and Kosovo hugged her at the end of the tournament and told her, “We’ll miss you!”
Thanks to these doses of inspiration provided by FtK, children from underprivileged areas now feel prouder and more prepared when it comes to learning. With passion as the main ingredient, “Football meets Culture” has figured out a way to balance education, sport and culture. These three components of pedagogic advancement are best described by the internal motto, ‘Starts little and develops big’. This is the ultimate goal of FtK: to expand social horizons for children from neglected areas.
Join the 2021 #BeInclusive EU Sport Awards Ceremony online on 4 May 2022 to find out the winners!