“We Lay A Particular Focus On Promoting Gender Equality, Inclusion And Enhancing Social And Life Skills”

November 30, 2020

Generation Amazing, a programme coordinated by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, is aimed at contributing to the lasting legacy of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. iSPORTCONNECT spoke with with Nasser Al Khori, Generation Amazing Programmes Director about the ambitions of the programme.

Tell us about the Generation Amazing initiative.

Generation Amazing (GA) is the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy’s (SC) human and social legacy programme initiated during Qatar’s successful bid for the FIFA World Cup 2022™ in 2010. We deliver football for development programmes locally and internationally utilizing a unique methodology based around football and the power it holds to inspire and empower youth everywhere. We lay a particular focus on promoting gender equality, inclusion and enhancing social and life skills like communication, organisation, teamwork and leadership. 

Our overall mission, in close alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), is to use football as a vehicle for community betterment – empowering and educating the next generations. We see sport, and specifically football, as a fundamental instrument for achieving socio-economic and wider development outcomes for young people and particularly those among vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.

How does a legacy programme help develop the sport at grassroot level?

We recognise that reaching children of an optimal learning age is key to creating social change. In over 70 schools across Qatar and Oman, we have run sessions for children from the ages of 8 to 12 over a 10-week cycle, focusing on enhancing a positive set of values such as inclusion, tolerance and respect. Through the programme, children develop life skills on the ground to become leaders and inspire a better future.

Beyond our local programmes, Generation Amazing has been building capacities of youth in the international communities where we work. Our youth are passionate about using football to inspire social good and make change in their communities. In collaboration with local partners, we provide capacity-building courses that develop their leadership skills on and off the pitch. These sessions have helped participants develop confidence and take charge when allocated team leader roles. Through their engagement in the Generation Amazing programme, 80% of youth have demonstrated an improvement in leadership skills. 

By 2022, Generation Amazing will have trained more than 100 youth advocates. In turn, these advocates will pass their expertise on and help thousands more to change lives – their own and those of others. By inspiring and engaging an amazing generation of young advocates active long beyond the FIFA World Cup, Generation Amazing aims to empower those united in their commitment to positive social change.

How are you planning to reach 1m beneficiaries by 2022 amidst the pandemic?

Generation Amazing programmes are designed to address the specific development needs of a given community, and are carefully adapted to each local context. To date, we have developed 30 community football pitches across the Middle East and Asia to support our mission. More than 500,000 beneficiaries have been reached through Generation Amazing football for development programmes across four continents. We aim to positively impact one million youth through our football for development programme by 2022.

We aim to reach vulnerable young people across the world through our football for development methodology, teaching values including gender equality and inclusion, and enhancing life skills like communication, organisation, teamwork and leadership. Besides reaching youth across four continents to date, we work to give communities with especially limited resources access to a safe place to learn and play. Our target of reaching 1 million young people in this way is achievable through our football for development sessions and with the support of our growing partner network.

How are you tackling the Covid-19 challenges?

The current COVID-19 pandemic has created a global challenge and disruption to education, sporting activities and communities, including those where Generation Amazing has a presence. We decided to address this challenge by continuing to harness the power of football through online football for development sessions and live chats with some of the world’s leading football stars.

The live streams have been running since early April on a weekly basis and have received some fantastic feedback from our audiences. We have also recently won two international awards for our online engagement for youth during the pandemic. Our sessions offer comprehensive access to the programme by inspiring, engaging and connecting participants and our audience at home. Qatari and global legends like Mubarak Mustafa, Khalid Salman, Almoez Ali, Xavi Hernandez, Tim Cahill and Cafu among others, have shared messages of advice and inspiration for our young audiences. Female players like Nadia Nadim, Lianne Sanderson and Allyson Swaby also went live with us to discuss women in sport and our core focus area of gender equality.

Tell us about your recent partnerships globally and the strategy behind the same?

We have a number of exciting partnerships at Generation Amazing, including the recently announced partnership with CONCACAF on football for development initiatives together with their NextPlay programme. A key focus will be community coach development, helping to inspire and empower thousands of young people and expanding the reach of our programmes. 

We joined hands with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to bring a joint football for development programmes to vulnerable youth in several countries across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America. In the region, we started working with the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organisation for Arab and Islamic Relief, Development and Cooperation (JHCO) to bring our football for development programme to refugees and vulnerable communities in Jordan and beyond. 

This September we also celebrated one year of the impactful football for good partnerships we have developed with Italian club AS Roma and Belgian team KAS Eupen. We also partner on a value in kind basis with Leeds United and Sheffield F.C., and are looking to add further partner clubs to our network as we enhance our global footprint.