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In 2018, KNVB WorldCoaches reached out to around 85,000 children in 23 countries through the game of football. The programme handed out more than 2100 certificates to local coaches, who are now able to organise weekly football activities for local youths independently.
WorldCoaches are taught to act both as coaches and as role models within their social communities. Football connects people, all over the world. KNVB WorldCoaches plays it part by engaging and coaching children both in sports and within their social environment. Since its launch in October 2009, KNVB WorldCoaches has handed out 14,276 certificates to local coaches, in collaboration with its partners.
This year, KNVB WorldCoaches activities once again covered many areas around the world. In South Africa, 100 local coaches were trained to mark the centenary of the birth of Nelson Mandela, in collaboration with the Nelson Mandela foundation. In addition, KNVB WorldCoaches set up an intensive project on the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten as part of the overall reconstruction effort following the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma. KNVB WorldCoaches trained 17 local coaches on the island and set up several after-school programmes as well as a school competition, which enables children to enjoy the game every week.
WorldCoaches also started a special project aimed at developing women's football in Qatar. In cooperation with the Dutch embassy and the Qatar Women's Sports Committee (QWSC), the programme trained the first group of women to become WorldCoach.
In 2018, the Netherlands Football Assocation designated the WorldCoaches programme as one of the five strategic pillars of its international strategy. "This year, we have made great strides with the WorldCoaches programme. We have been able to achieve a great deal of local impact by training coaches and organising football activities", says Gijs de Jong, the KNVB’s secretary general. "The content of the WorldCoaches course and its approach have been further developed during the year in collaboration with our teaching staff and partners."
This unique programme generates a lot of positive energy
"This unique programme generates a lot of positive energy and it is wonderful that football and KNVB can contribute to local development in this way", he continues. "We are very grateful to our partners, especially the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and certainly also our local partners, teachers and our highly engaged ambassadors. As in football, it’s all about good cooperation and teamwork."
As part of the WorldCoaches programme, KNVB has teamed up with various types of organisations. At the local level, these are usually small organisations specialised in using sports for development. In addition, KNVB WorldCoaches works together with government ministries, companies and social and local organisations who believe in the power of football and are willing to invest in this power.