Football for Adolescences to Increase Resiliency: a Program for life-skills and youth

Together with Nederlands Jeugdinsituut (NJi) dr. Brian Godor, Assistant Professor at the Erasmus University, will be investigating  the societal impact of football and how it can make youth more resilient. For his FAIRPLAY project Godor received an Erasmus+ grant earlier this year. It is the largest project Erasmus+ ever approved from a Dutch agency. Dr. Brian Godor: “This shows just how important this topic is. We want to build more resilient kids in cities and we are using football to do this”.

The FAIRPLAY project is a three year project working on the development of life skills and resiliency in adolescents. In their partnership Godor and NJi focus on developing the pedagogical skills in sport and educational coaches within Five European Football clubs. For his project, Godor will be working together with Feyenoord Rotterdam, Charlton Athletic Football Club, Werder Bremen, FC Internazionale Milano (Inter-Campus) and Hibernian Football Club. The eventual final product will be a complete training manual on how to implement these new ideas as well as the academic research from the clubs themselves leading to evidence-based practice and practice-based evidence. Godor: “We look at how big football clubs such as Feyenoord actually make a difference in the lives of citizens in Rotterdam. We will be going through all their training programs to see what effect they have on youth”.

Resiliency and life-skills transfers

Coaches and youth workers often have little time to develop programs in which adolescents can learn life lessons that can be transferred off the football pitch. This project will combine the power of football, academic insights and evidenced-based pedagogical methodologies to establish professionalization activities for youth workers. The youth workers that participate in the FAIR-PLAY project will work on the notions of ‘resiliency’ and ‘life-skills transfers’ amongst youth.

Godor’s goal is to make the youth in cities grow and learn. “We are looking at how we can make these kids stronger and deal with the struggles that they have in the cities that they live in. I can’t change a lot about the circumstances that these kids live in, but I can help them deal with the situations that they have and help them become stronger and more resilient”.

Vital Cities and Citizens

As theme lead of the subtheme ‘Resilient Cities and Citizens’, Godor is highly involved in the Vital Cities and Citizens program. “When we talk about cities, we talk about buildings and trees. When I talk about cities, I talk about the citizens and about how we can help them getting better. This project is all about societal impact”.

More information

Marjolein Kooistra, communication ESSB, kooistra@essb.eur.nl | 010 408 2135 | 06 83676038