Life Champions consortium with FC Željezničar Sarajevo and the Mayor of the municipality of Novo Sarajevo

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Representatives of the consortium of the project “Creating Life Champions” have visited Sarajevo today as part of their regional tour, and held a series of constructive meetings with the management of the Football Club Željezničar. Goal of the meetings was to examine modalities for further strengthening and raising cooperation to a higher level, bearing in mind that this football club has been a stable partner since the very launch of the concept of life champions.

The Mayor of Novo Sarajevo, PhD Hasan Tanović, also attended the meeting, providing clear support for the introduction of European standards and principles in the work with younger categories of involved sports actors, for which, among other things, the project advocates.

Present have been introduced to the plans of the consortium for the next period, which refer both to the coaches’ study visit to Strumica, as well as to the organization of new activities for children and coaches in 2024, and a special focus has been placed on the inclusion of girls, and the expansion of the concept to female life champions too. As before, all activities will be free precisely in order to create conditions for development of the sport accessible to everyone.

In continuation, one generation from the youth school of football has received a valuable donation in equipment, all for further development of the youth section of this football club. Development Center for Youth, as coordinator of the concept, received equipment from the UEFA Foundation for Children as part of the support for further development of the idea of life champions, and in the coming period, through a larger number of smaller donations, some of the clubs that in the previous period showed a special interest in working on ideas of life champions will receive the same.

Consortium was led by Aleksandra Knežević, the project coordinator, and Emira Mešanović, the coordinator of the expert team for development of a publication for coaches to further introduce the idea of life champions into daily training activities, while in front of FC Željezničar, the activities were attended by Edin Ćurić, director of the Youth Football School, Ilijas Kovačević, member of the Board of Directors of the club in front of the Youth Football School and Jasmin Krajina, coordinator for the younger categories of the Youth Football School, in addition to Sanjin Mešić, the club’s representative in the consortium.

“The idea of creating life champions brings back into focus the true values of sport – companionship, bonding, sportsmanship, fair play and solidarity, healthy lifestyles, diverting attention from its purely competitive side. The role of sports, and we are primarily referring to the coaches who work with the younger categories, is to make every child a life champion, while especially talented ones will undoubtedly find their way to sports honors. However, every child needs to go to sports in order to enjoy and learn good values, and these are the long-forgotten principles of sports on whose revitalization we are working with the involved clubs. The interest in joining the concept is great and we as a team will not stop until this idea is presented in every club, but for now it is important to lay a stable foundation, and that is why in the coming period we will continue to strengthen the existing cooperation. We are happy that this time the municipality of Novo Sarajevo recognized the importance and potential of the idea, and we hope that this will result in various joint activities in the future”, said Aleksandra Knežević after the meeting.

Project “Creating Life Champions” currently gathers 9 clubs from the sports sector from 7 countries – Serbia, Croatia, Turkiye, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in the upcoming period involved coaches and boys will also be joined by girls, which will contribute to further strengthening of the line of female life champions, and the promotion of gender equality in and through sport. It is implemented with the support of the ERASMUS+ program in the field of sports and the UEFA Foundation for Children.