The event, organised by the Argentinian Secretary of Community Sport, is part of a series of initiatives that are marking the closing of the 2014 edition of the nation-wide programme ‘Ligas Deportivas Comunitarias’.
“This is a gathering to celebrate what these youngsters and families have achieved throughout these years”, said the Social Development Ministry Sub-secretary Luis Vivon.
4 million Argentinians benefit from the programme
In total, over 4 million Argentinians participate in the ‘Ligas Deportivas’, which brings free sporting and recreational activities to underprivileged neighbourhoods to help improve the lives of youngsters aged between 5 and 19.
The programme looks to support community clubs and not for profit associations which focus on preventing youngsters from being exposed to risk situations and motivating them to develop and achieve life goals and projects, while promoting social, emotional and physical wellbeing.
“All this is possible because community and amateur clubs are a place where sport, culture and family all come together.
“Our work is to boost likewise programmes throughout the country in order to strengthen social and inclusive sport” added Luis Vivon.
The celebrations will continue in Argentina over the next 20 days across different community clubs.
Football for social change
Over the weekend, in Tandil, a suburb of Buenos Aires, 250 children played the last round of the council’s 2014 inter-neighbourhoods football league.
The league is part of the ‘Ligas Deportivas’ programme and promotes football encounters among amateurs teams every two weeks. Similarly to the ‘Liga Deportivas’, the initiative is replicated across several councils of the country promoting the same core values.
The closing event was divided in three parts, including the usual football matches, the distribution of football goods, such as t-shirts and football balls, and a lunch to promote a social exchange among the children of the different neighbourhoods.
“To us is very important to see how more and more kids participate in these gatherings, in which through sport, inclusion, companionship and friendship is promoted.” said Miguel Lunghi, mayor of Tandil.