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Soccerwise: Citizenship Learning

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UK and International

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3. CITIZENSHIP - civic rights, responsibilities and youth justice

Soccerwise developed from the Moss Side Amateurs soccer team in 1995, which used the sport to reduce gang territorialism and violence in Manchester, which was supported by Manchester United legend Sir Bobby Charlton.

The Soccerwise programme was officially launched at the Soccerex 1999 Global Exhibition in Los Angeles, as part of the USA 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup. This followed its endorsement by FIFA President Sepp Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini at the Soccerex 1998 Global Exhibition in Paris, as part of the France 1998 FIFA World Cup, with the former Arsenal, Arsène Wenger, and former England Manager, Roy Hodgson, signing Youth Charter scroll.

The Youth Charter’s relationship with the United Nations started with a youth visit to International Court in The Hague in 1996, which included Youth Ambassadors, Adesuwa McCalla (now a Hollywood producer) and Jonathan Green (now CEO of Unity Radio), and was hosted by Judge Gabrielle Kirk McDonald.

In 2000, the Youth Charter became a United Nations accredited Non-Governmental Organisation and attended the UNICEF Pre Millennium Forum NGO Conference on the Global Partnership for Children. As a result of this the Youth Charter Soccerwise Education Pack was produced and a Soccerwise programme was delivered with 20 schools in Greater Manchester in partnership with UNICEF, Manchester United FC and Barclaycard Free Kicks in 2003, with Sir Alex Ferguson presenting special achievement awards at Burnage High School. This programme was also presented at the YC UN sponsored workshop at the 55th Annual DPI/NGO Conference, as part of the Youth Charter 10th anniversary global activity in 2003.

The Soccerwise programmes has also been delivered in the UK and around the world, most notably as
part of the Youth Charter’s Anglo-South Africa Post-Aparthied programme. This included:

• Sir Bobby Charlton and the Youth Charter to deliver programmes in soccer camps in South Africa
• SASOL U23 Olympic Squads Soccer Exchanges visit to the Moss Side, Manchester
• Youth Charter scroll handed to President Nelson Mandela by YC Youth Ambassador Monique Gardner from FIFA SOS Village during the Nelson Mandela Farwell Game in 1999
• Youth Charter contributing the both England and South Africa’s 2006 World Cup bids and to the bidding and hosting of the South Africa 2010 World Cup
• Youth Charter delivered Social Coach Leadership Programme workshops at the Future Champions Tournament in Guateng, as a legacy to the South Africa 2010 World Cup
• Youth Charter hosted young people from the Future Champions Tournament in Manchester, as part of the Soccerex Global Conferences in 2014 and 2015

The Youth Charter ‘21’ Soccerwise Report was launched at the Manchester Soccerex Global Conferences in 2014. The Soccerwise Report discusses the Social Impact of the Beautiful Game in the UK and around the world, and the challenges and opportunities for the World’s most popular sport in the 21st Century.

The Youth Charter’s Soccerwise programme has inspired the following projects and programmes:

• Manchester United Foundation
• United for UNICEF (1999)
• Playing for Success (2004)
• FIFA Football for Hope (2005)
• UNICEF Socceraid (2006)
• Premier League Kickz (2007)
• Team UNICEF (2014)
• Premier League Primary Stars (2017)

Activity Numbers

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Young People


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Social Coaches and Social Professionals


Activity Report

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Activity Videos


Activity Gallery

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