The football players of Younited Belgium are experts in daily survival, struggling against homelessness, addiction and poverty. They couldn’t be further away from professional football clubs… or could they?
Whether it is the warmth of the changing room or the adrenaline on the field, the high of victory or the despair of a loss, we share the good and the bad at Younited Belgium. Players bond with their teammates and consider the Younited-team a ‘home’. Regardless of where they come from, what age they are or what life-style they have, the feeling of coming home on entering the changing room is universal. It gives the Younited team players wings, a positive identity and energy to redirect their lives.
The Younited teams coaches want to offer their players a chance to build their confidence, to improve their self-image, to restructure their lives, to feel the support of the group and to feel that all-important sense of belonging. The team helps the players take crucial initial steps towards a new beginning. Football is just a means, but what a means. No other sport has such a broad base of support. Our network of social organisations, football clubs and municipal services bear witness to the process-driven way the teams work, locally and nationally, always keeping one eye on the social goals and one eye on the (foot)ball.
Find out how clubs and social organisations work together to create a home in a football team. Jan Cas, Football & Community manager of the Pro League and Bert Ballegeer, director of Younited Belgium talk you through this unique partnership.