Main goal of the project is to prevent violence, discrimination and racism in sports
As part of the Youth Sports Fair Chance project, funded by the Erasmus+Sport Programme of the European Union, The Youth Sports Games have organized an interactive conferenceat the amphitheatre of the high schools “Gimnazija Dobrinja” and “Peta gimnazija”, where young football players from FK Novi Grad had the opportunity to meet the players and representatives of two football clubs, FK Sarajevo and FK Željezničar.
The project aims to identify, develop and compile best sports-related practices which optimally contribute to the dissemination of messages of respect, the fight against discrimination and racism and the prevention of all forms of violence in sports.
While talking to the children, the two football players, Faruk Hodžić from FK Sarajevo and Tarik Pehilj from FK Željezničar, shared their experiences on the field, talked about why they feel it is important to talk about this topic and discussed the relationship between the two city rival clubs.
“First of all, I am happy to take part in this conversation with a colleague from Željezničar to show, once again, that even the biggest city rivals can sit next to one another, and in this way, serve as a role model for the behaviour of future athletes. We will do our best to correct the mistakes and the bad things that sometimes happen on the field, at least among the players, because we are stronger when we are together” said Faruk Hadžić, the captain of the cadet team of FK Sarajevo.
ŠejlaJamaković, the Head of Communications at FK Sarajevo, and Faruk Čengić, Marketing Assistant at FK Sarajevo, as well as the supporter liaison officer of the club, spoke about the increase of violence and nationalism on the football stands throughout BiH, as well as the use of pyrotechnics on the stands which cause the clubs to be sanctioned. Both clubs aim to increase the number of fans at the matches, primarily families with children, and to revive the beauty of watching matches without violence.
The Youth Sports Fair Chance project, includes 70 primary schools from 7 partner countries – Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia, North Macedonia, Bulgaria and Italy, and when it comes to Bosnia and Herzegovina ten primary school that are included are: OŠ “SkenderKulenović“ from Sarajevo, OŠ “Omer Mušić“ from Kakanj, OŠ “Safvet-beg Bašagić“ from Gradačac, OŠ “Kalibunar“ from Travnik, “Prva osnovnaškola” fromZavidovići, OŠ “Vladimir Nazor“ from Odžak, OŠ “Orašje“ fromOrašje, “Prva osnovnaškola”from Stolac,and twoprimary schools from Jajce – OŠ “13. rujan“ and OŠ “Berta Kučera“.
“Parents should teach their children from the earliest age how to behave on the sports filed and sports stands. This is a very good project because it includes ten primary schools from Bosnia and Herzegovina and it teaches young people around our country to prevent violence, racism and discrimination among young athletes. All this is important to me, as a player, because it makes it easier for all of us to play and to enjoy football together” said Tarik Pehilj, the captain of the junior team of FK Željezničar.
As the project continues, boys and girls from the aforementioned schools will take part in educational workshops and a competition in creating Infographics with topics on preventing violence, racism and discrimination, and the best ones will get the opportunity to travel to Split along with their teachers, and spend time with other primary school students from partner countries. The total value of the project is 365,525 euros.