Inaugural Generation Amazing Festival
The first Generation Amazing Festival brought together 140 young leaders inspired to implement social change in their communities through football.
Held at Qatar Foundation's Oxygen Park, the festival celebrated social inclusion and the promotion of gender equality, in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Qatar National Vision 2030. Youth from 24 countries, including Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, India, the Philippines, Nepal, Italy, Belgium, the UK and Brazil, participated in the festival.
Key highlights of the festival included football for development workshops, a football3 tournament, activities led by youth ambassadors, a FIFA Legends day, cultural performances and celebrity footballer events, as well as the chance to attend the semi-final of the FIFA Club World Cup™ between Liverpool FC and CF Monterrey.
Generation Amazing partner clubs – AS Roma, KAS Eupen, Leeds United and Sheffield FC – all sent youth delegations, as did Brazilian champions CR Flamengo, who took part in the FIFA Club World Cup™, and the English Football Association.
A football for good tournament rounded off the festival's educational and entertainment experience and offered participants the chance to apply all the technical and personal skills they acquired throughout the event.
In her welcome address, Generation Amazing's Marketing & Communications Director, Moza Al Mohannadi, said: "You are the future game-changers. Welcome to Generation Amazing, welcome to Qatar, welcome to the country that will host the World Cup in 2022. I hope to see you here again and again."
Speaking at the medal ceremony, Generation Amazing's Programme Director, Nasser Al Khori, said: "As a programme, Generation Amazing operates today in eight countries and reaches 28 diverse communities, which you can see are all fantastically represented here at the festival. We've been able to reach 500,000 beneficiaries so far and this is something we are proud of and hold in our vision to achieve a lasting impact."
Al Khori added: "Besides building football infrastructure, we have the football for development programme, which participants have actively engaged in throughout the festival. Promoting gender equality is an important aspect of the programme and seeing an equal split among female and male participants at the festival has been exciting. Thank you to the youth for participating with us and our partners and team for making this festival possible."
During the five-day event, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) ambassadors Mubarak Mustafa, Adel Khamis, Wael Gomaa and Younis Mahmoud inspired youth with their presence, while participants also got the chance to interact with global legends Tim Cahill, John Arne Riise, Michael Owen, Yaya Toure, Santiago Solari, Kristine Lilly, Steve McManaman, Bebeto and Julio Cesar.
Attendees also met Dutch legend Johan Neeskens, who gave an inspiring speech about the positive impact of football. Participants also took part in a talk with former Liverpool and England striker Michael Owen, and had the chance to attend training sessions organised by the Paris-Saint Germain Academy in Doha.
The festival featured a range of cultural, networking and celebratory activities, including a visit to the National Museum of Qatar. Participants also got the opportunity to attend a FIFA Legends day which rounded off the festival with talks, training sessions and a match between star players and the young leaders.
Generation Amazing coach, 26-year-old Jafla Al Hajri, was a team leader during the festival.
She said: "I learnt to be more confident, to show my leadership and I was working really hard to show the team that I have a responsibility to guide them – and I think I accomplished this."
Azit Ojha, a 19-year-old Generation Amazing youth ambassador from Nepal, spoke about the benefits of football3 and his experience at the festival.
"Football3 is so exciting and promotes quality teamwork and respect. It's really nice to be here, to be an ambassador of this programme and to be a part of this festival."
The closing ceremony was attended by H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the SC, as well as high level dignitaries and representatives from the event's partners and supporters.
Qatar Airways was the event's official airline partner, while beIN SPORTS was named as official media partner. The festival was also supported by Qatar Football Association, Qatar Museums, Ashghal, Q Life and Medical Insurance Company, and the University Campus of Football Business.
The FIFA Foundation also partnered with Generation Amazing for the event, which was organised in collaboration with streetfootballworld. Qatar Foundation was a strategic partner having provided the main grounds for the festival.