On November 22nd, Football for Peace Celebrated their City for Peace graduation ceremony at Copperbox arena in London with the support of his Royal Highness Prince William. FfP also launched the #FootballSavesLives initiative with the Duke of Cambridge, which pledges to train 500 Young Peace Leaders by 2021. The celebration brought together footballing ambassadors Mesut Ozil, Louis Saha, Bacary Sagna, Mamadou Sakho, Carlton Cole, Cherno Samba, Avram Grant and newly trained Young Peace Leaders.
The event honoured the Young Peace Leaders from across the UK who graduated from the City for Peace initiative this year. Through this programme, FfP works in conjunction with local councils, football clubs and schools to train young people aged 15-18 in how to unite their communities on and off the pitch, from running local football tournaments to organising classroom workshops to discuss the issues currently dividing their communities.
On the day, The Duke attended a workshop on tolerance and team building, which was delivered by FfP tutors and attended by Young Peace Leaders. His Royal Highness then met the charity’s Footballing Ambassadors and students who took part in breaking down a wall with footballs in a message against hate and violence to support the #FootballSavesLives campaign.
The #FootballSavesLives Campaign
#FootballSavesLives selects 500 young peace leaders from different faiths, cultures and backgrounds, teaching them football diplomacy and life skills. Each engages around 30 divided youth in their community, through running local football tournaments to organising workshops and discussions. The campaign will reach 10,000 young people across the UK by 2020, and results are set to include a reduction of youth hate crimes and violence, reduced isolation and increased confidence.
“I am delighted that the #FootballSavesLives campaign, launched today, will see more of you trained to bring young people from across the country together. Football is not just a game. It is part of the fabric of this nation – providing a common interest and a unifying identity. It brings us together in the enjoyment of a simple pastime, without complication, but with plenty of passion!”HRH Duke of Cambridge Prince William
“With the #FootballSavesLives campaign, we want to encourage all football lovers and peace defenders to support our pledge to train the next generation of Young Peace Leaders to create more peaceful and tolerant communities across the UK. These schools in normal instance, hardly mix let alone play on same teams, the country needs more integration activities”FfP co-founder Kashif Siddiqi.
“I am proud to support an initiative which brings people together in the divided times we are living in”Arsenal player Mesut Ozil