Ways forward: A sustainable future for Football Clubs at the FFAV Evaluation Conference
Being highly recognized for their effectiveness conducting club activities, the three sustainable club models Nam Dong Department of Education and Training, Dien Loc Primary School Club and Huynh Dinh Tuc Secondary School Club were chosen to be presented at the FFAV Evaluation Conference period 2003-2018. Those were just three out of many football clubs succeeding in developing viable plans for the future.
1. In order to guarantee the funding and the continuity of children football and life skills activities, Nam Dong Department of Education and Training focuses on exploring the distinct inner strengths of each club. This encompasses making use of the social mobilization model, especially the involvement of parents and local sponsors into clubs’ activities. This way, the clubs will be able to continue to organize football and life skill activities for children after 2018.
Nam Dong Department of Education and Training will pay special focus helping direct football clubs to use their own resources; initially developed in cooperation with FFAV. If the clubs do not have sufficient human resources to operate effectively, they can ask for help from neighboring clubs. At the same time, the football clubs also need to train and develop volunteers with both quality and quantity, especially focusing on the parents, former students and the Youth Union in the local area.
The role of Name Dong Education and Training Department is not limited to supporting the clubs financially so that they can upgrade football equipment’s and facilities, but also being a mutual contact point for clubs in the Friendship Club network or between individuals, organizations, groups or business and the football clubs. Name Dong Education and Traning Department will organize club visits for the football clubs to socialize and learn from one another and mobilize supports when needed as well.
2. As for Huynh Dinh Tuc Secondary school club, former students are their target volunteer group. After being trained by FFAV, they will be introduced to the official volunteer group where they can directly run football events at the club such as Fun Football Festival, School Football Day Life-skill Festival, etc.
Huynh Dinh Tuc football club keeps in touch with this group of volunteers through social media or phone calls. Over time, they named their own volunteer group as “Norwegian Football Volunteer Club”. In their club, volunteers divide themselves into smaller groups with specific tasks such as referees, coaches, commentators or life-skill facilitators. At the events, the volunteers organize games for the children in break time, help with the logistic preparation process (drawing pitches’ lines, decoration, preparing materials for games and other activities). For bigger events which need a large number of volunteers, the football club Organizing Board will contact them well in advance so that they can choose the suitable day with the biggest number of volunteers (mostly on the weekends).
3. Finally, Dien Loc primary school clubs have been using the model to utilize the human resources of the parent volunteers. The club has been cooperating with the Parent Union to make sure children will have a healthy and useful playground after 2018. The school integrates the values and visions of grassroots football activities into the annual meeting with parents at the beginning of school year. With the great efforts of the club Organizing Board, most of the parents now are well aware of the benefits their children can receive from participating in the football club, such as bonding the parent-children relationship, children having fun with football and life skills, and improving their health.
Although the majority of parents are farmers or industrial workers, after being trained by FFAV, they are now confident taking on the big roles of school events such as coaches, referees and fundraisers. At the end of each event, the club Organizing Board and parent volunteers will check the funding they have raised and publicize the figures along with the list of sponsors on the schools websites.
Building on their past success, after 2018, Dien Loc club will continue to enhance parents’ potential and gradual shift the main responsibilities over to them, from organizing activities to fundraising with different methods.
After 15 years in action with the goal to develop non-competitive and life-skills playgrounds for children, FFAV has been working directly with the local partners and football clubs and building a strong foundation of both facilities and human resources. With the will and determination of not only the three stakeholders mentioned above, but all the clubs who agree to continue the good work after the hand-over process of FFAV, we truly hope that all of them will find their ways, their best and most suitable plans to execute.Hopefully, the journey of “Counting smiles” will be endless.-------