The Open Football Club project, initiated in October 2014 by the FondAction du Football, offers a variety of civic and cultural activities to young players being trained in French professional football clubs. Faced with an only slim chance of succeeding as professional football players (8% of students will sign a professional contract), the young men often focus almost exclusively on football to maximize their chances of professional sporting success. This has severe impact on schooling and all other possible activities, in turn impacting the young people’s personal development.
The project thus aims at offering other perspectives for these young players, supporting their personal and social development. Selected focus topics are : social media, civic engagement, solidarity, health, history of football and discovery of the arts. For each topic, a leading partner was chosen by the FondAction française du Foot. RESEO shall be offering its expertise in the focus topic discovery of the arts. The aim is to provide access to opera for young football players – and break the mutual barriers between the worlds of sports and the arts. The objectives can be multiple for young football players: discover a new universe, get to know its codes, discover the similarity between football and opera/dance (quest for excellence, parallel schooling and training schemes, transmission of emotions, star-cult, importance of team-play, stage fright/ fear of failure, restrictive career perspectives, selective professional environments, injury,…).
The impact of arts education on the individual’s creative thinking, development of new perspectives, overcoming stereotypes, teambuilding etc. is certainly beneficial for all concerned. RESEO members shall be offering a series of workshops, guided tours, exchanges with young artists and performances to the different local football training centres interested in this axis. Evaluation via the RESEO network shall support the development and fine-tuning of this pilot project.