Some of us work in formal (school) education (as teachers or developers of educational resources), others are working outside the school with youngsters. Some of us are football organisations. Most of us are working in, with, around, through football. We initiated a project, and with support of Erasmus+, are working closely together.
What is this platform about?
This platform builds on the work of history teachers and youth workers who are developing new educational resources.
We are thinking about young Europeans today. Maybe they adore football stars, but don’t sense at all the relevance of the past to their lives. Maybe they take a great interest in the past, but don’t see the social potential for tolerance and equality embedded in Football. We are working together across border to make educational resources that can contribute to inclusion, critical thinking and global citizenship.
The platform has three aims which relate football history to social inclusion.
We want to:
create a community, and
celebrate new initiatives.
Why do we want it?
Because we like football, and we like history. We remember what happens in football. We remember what happens in history. When we talk to each other about football, we are probably speaking about a game, the players and coaches and – of course – the coming about of a result, its justness, its impact, its drama. When we talk to each other about history, we are probably speaking about events, moments, the people involved, their decisions, and we narrate and explore consequences and legacies.
Football and history are not that different.
They both grow in strength as conversations. They are valuable to us, because we care about the stories which they show us. Through both football and history, we can explore aspects of human nature, how individuals form groups and how groups cooperate, thrive and fail.
But which history, and which football do we want to celebrate, study and commemorate? We are looking at the world around us and we see hatred, strife, conflict, prejudice and a rise in the political gain which values discrimination, exclusion and racism. We also see momentum in the world of football to apply this sports mass appeal as a force for societal change.
What can you expect?
We started to think about this platform when it was announced that the UEFA European Championship in 2020 would be held in many different countries, that is would strive to build bridges.
First of all, we are making educational resources, including ready-to-use classroom lesson plans, as well as adaptable youth work tools. The lesson plans are based around themes in European history, including migrations, wars, borders, rivalries, and more. The youth work tools focus on educational games and activities that stimulate empathy and non-discrimination.
If you are an educator, and like us, like football and history, you are more than welcome to come in, download the materials, use them, and tell us how to make them better!
Second of all, we know that there is a lot of football historical knowledge out there in football journalism, as well as historical research. We are gathering inspiring stories, but we know there are just a few examples.
If you are a researcher, journalist or simply have a great story to share in which Football made History, you are more than welcome to come and share that story with us, and with the broad community.
And, speaking of which, and third of all, we hope to connect and combine our networks and spark the creation of an ever-growing online community of you and us, who are football lovers and history geeks, to learn from each other, inspire each other, and maybe even set up new cooperations and partnership together.