Generation Amazing Festival 2020 inspires young people through the power of football
Hundreds of youth from more than 50 countries engaged with the Generation Amazing Festival 2020, which took place from 2-4 December.
More than 700 youth learned about the power of football to deliver positive social change in their communities. The event was organised by the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ legacy programme in collaboration with a range of strategic partners and sponsors, including Qatar Foundation (QF), Qatar Airways, University Campus of Football Business (UCFB), B4Development, beIN SPORTS and Ooredoo. The theme of this year’s festival was ‘connectedness’.
The inaugural Generation Amazing Festival took place at Education City last year and welcomed youth and ambassadors from all over the world. This year’s event took place virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic and included a range of panel sessions and presentations from prominent people from the world of football.
Since its launch in 2010, Generation Amazing has positively impacted the lives of more than 500,000 people across the world through its innovative football for development programmes, which include building facilities in disadvantaged communities. Generation Amazing is aiming to positively impact the lives of 1 million people by 2022.
H.E. Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of QF, said: “Qatar Foundation is delighted to have played its part in the success of the second Generation Amazing Festival, which has amplified the message of how sport can enrich the lives of individuals and strengthen the fabric of society.”
H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), said: “We are proud to see the impact of the second annual Generation Amazing Festival, which successfully brought together hundreds of youth from across Qatar, the region and the world on this virtual journey aimed at unlocking the transformative power of football. Ten years on from launching Generation Amazing, this is the latest milestone as we use football to change the world for the better. By investing in the development of youth through sport, we enable them to play a vital role in improving their future and bettering their communities.”
FIFA Foundation CEO, Youri Djorkaeff, spoke live at the festival and discussed the importance of keeping connected throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“Today, we can’t be in your country to share this moment, but we are connected,” said Djorkaeff, a FIFA World Cup winner with France in 1998. “What is important as we are connecting is that we are continuing to communicate at a difficult time…this gives us an opportunity to think about what we can do and how we can act together.”
Other prominent contributors during the festival included Machaille Hassan Al Naimi, QF’s President of Community Development, SC ambassador and Australia football legend Tim Cahill, Carli Lloyd, twice a FIFA Women’s World Cup winner with the USA, Canadian star Karina LeBlanc and AS Roma player Andrine Hegerberg.
Hegerberg outlined how sport is helping children deal with the effects of COVID-19, while Lloyd touched on the power of hosting the FIFA World Cup to change people’s lives.
A number of workshops and interactive booths were also organised during the festival as participants learned about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, along with personal development activities which could inspire social change.
Generation Amazing youth advocate Ahmed Ali, 16, said: “I can confirm that the growth Qatar is experiencing, especially in terms of its role in supporting disadvantaged communities, has been significant.”
“I hope that all of these diverse and important skills I have developed will help me in my future as an academic but also in promoting equality, sustainability and peace,” added Ali, an Egyptian national who lives in Qatar. “I believe that this programme is an invaluable first step I am taking towards achieving this goal.”
The festival was supported by a range of Generation Amazing partner clubs, including AS Roma, KAS Eupen, Leeds United and Sheffield FC, along with the PSG Academy Qatar. Among content partners who delivered workshops were the SC, America Scores, Arab Open University, THIMUN Qatar, Education Above All – Al Fakhoora, UNDP, Generations for Peace and sportanddev.
Also joining the line-up and offering a variety of workshops were UNHCR, Aurora, Doha Debates, Kick4Life, YFC Rurka Kalan, Coaches Across Continents, Right To Play, UNESCO – Youth & Sport Task Force, Street Child United, Beyond Sport, streetfootballworld and the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sport Museum.
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