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Football clubs pitch in to help Palestinians

A top Swiss football club has taken part in a three-day project to help young West Bank Palestinians hone their skills on and off the pitch.

The project brought together coaches from FC Basel and German clubs Werder Bremen and Bayer Leverkusen to train 23 young men and women to coach children’s football and to work on grassroots football projects.

The programme not only included sessions with the ball, but also seminars dealing with issues such as team building techniques and leadership. Participants learned how to organise a training session and tournament for about 100 local children aged between eight and 12.

The project was run by the Scort Foundation - which is headed by Gigi Oeri, chairwoman of FC Basel - in cooperation with several local partners.

The foundation, whose board members include former Swiss cabinet minister Adolf Ogi, works with underprivileged young people in different countries, exploiting the “potential power of football” to help develop social competence, general health, integration and peace initiatives.

It has run projects in Sri Lanka, Sudan and Kosovo. Last month it held a training camp in Basel for young people with disabilities. and agencies


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