3 April 2019

UNAI celebrates the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace talking with Real Madrid F.C.

The International Day of Sport for Development and Peace celebrates sport as a unique power to attract, mobilize and inspire. Sport plays a significant role as a promoter of social integration and economic development in different geographical, cultural and political contexts. Sport is also a powerful tool to strengthen social ties and networks and to promote ideals of peace, fraternity, solidarity, non-violence, tolerance, and justice.

Real Madrid FC is one of the most famous soccer teams in the world and one of the most successful, having won thirteen European Cups. However, the team’s influence goes beyond tournaments. Through it’s Real Madrid Foundation the club provides programs that promote sport as an educational tool, a tool for character-building and personal development, and as a means of social integration, particularly for people from marginalized groups. 

UNAI reached out to soccer legend Emilio Butragueño, who explains how the Foundation’s work helps to promote, both in Spain as well as abroad, the values inherent in sport to contribute to a better world:

The Real Madrid Foundation is the entity that develops the social action of Real Madrid F.C. within the framework of the Club's Corporate Social Responsibility policy.

Its mission is to transform the power of football and basketball into a tool of education, development cooperation and inclusion. For 20 years the Foundation has been developing socio-sporting schools and values ​​education programs using training sessions as a playful-educational vehicle to improve the lives of children, especially children at risk of exclusion or social disadvantage, but given the opportunity all equally to practice a quality educational sport.

In Spain, the Foundation develops more than 160 projects for the integration of excluded groups. In total, more than 12,000 Spanish people benefit from the activities of the Foundation every year. Outside of Spain, the Foundation works with educational entities, large NGOs or local associations, adding value to projects in which children obtain education, values ​​through sports, food, health services, school reinforcement, and psychological and social support. With this model of socio-educational, flexible and collaborative intervention, we are now in 76 countries on five continents with more than 400 schools and socio-sport projects, serving more than 40,000 children.

Real Madrid Foundation’s work helps reach SDG 1 “No Poverty” and SDG 2 “Zero Hunger” fighting some consequences of poverty, such as the lack of hygiene and their diseases, the lack of health services and vaccines, or lack of water, playing a big role of our projects.

Practicing sports helps combat childhood obesity, contributes to the development of their mental health and well-being by teaching teamwork, motivation, respect, self-esteem, and resilience helping reach SDG 3 “Good Health and Well-Being”. Also, the schools and socio-sport projects of the Real Madrid Foundation are gender mixed, except in countries where this practice is not allowed or in environments where there is no coexistence -such as prisons, segregated schools or orphanages- aiming to reach SDG 5 “Gender Equality”. Around 30% of the beneficiaries and approximately 15% of the technicians and educators of the projects around the world are women.

One of the organizations helped by the Real Madrid Foundation is Paris-based NGO “Pour un Sourire d´Enfant” (PSE), which has worked in Cambodia for more than 20 years to help children affected by violence and poverty. Through their education programs, PSE teaches more than 6,000 children the skills they need to get decent and well-paid jobs.

The Real Madrid Foundation provided a new soccer field for PSE and has been training Cambodian teachers and administrators in sports values and ethics.

Take a look at how the Real Madrid Foundation helps PSE students develop and grow.

You can learn more about the Real Madrid Foundation and their programs here, and if you’d like to learn more about “Pour un Sourire d´Enfant” visit its website.

International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

Video credit: Sopheak Moeurn