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Inspiring students use sport to integrate excluded groups

A passionate group of inspiring young people, trained as community coaches and sport leaders, are using football to provide children and youth in their community with inclusive sports activities and the opportunity to access health education and learn about health services in Mozambique.

Over recent months the network of young people trained by the Tico School, founded by former international footballer Manuel José Luís Bucuane, has focussed on providing sports activities to excluded groups in their local communities, including working with children and youth living in orphanages. Through this community outreach activity, students are utilising their skills to promote the benefits of sport for individuals, promoting healthy living and active lifestyles, and contributing to the social cohesion of the community. The young leaders also bring schools and orphanages together through tournaments to make sure that no one is left out.

This exciting Football for Development Project uses football to: teach important life skills; share vital health messages; promote equality between boys and girls; and develop young people’s leadership skills.  With the Tico School providing training and support to the young leaders and community coaches, the programme is supported by International Inspiration (IN) and the Premier League.

Thanks to the work of Tico School, and the support of IN and the Premier League, around 125 young sport leaders, including 50 Community Coaches, are using sport as a platform to address key local issues in the country’s capital of Maputo.  Critical health issues for young people include family planning, early pregnancy and HIV/AIDs prevention. Teenagers who attended sports sessions were given the opportunity to participate in family planning sessions and learn more about re-productive health. Young men were also encouraged to learn about circumcision as a means to reduce the risk of HIV/AIDS and given access to voluntary health services.

The work of these committed young people exemplifies the inspirational qualities of sport and how, by bringing people together, sport can be used as a platform to educate and inspire others. The impact of their work has also far exceeded all expectations with more than 1,500 young people having been reached by the community outreach work so far!

The Football for Development Project at Tico School in Mozambique is supported by The Premier League.