Youth learn about Generation Amazing football for development methodology for social change
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, December 23, 2019: The first edition of the Generation Amazing Festival 2019 has concluded successfully at Qatar Foundation Oxygen Park, bringing together a generation of young leaders gathered for the common purpose of using the power of football to inspire social change in their communities. This year’s festival was the first of its kind in Qatar, celebrating social inclusion and promoting gender equality as part of Generation Amazing’s mandate of using football to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Qatar National Vision 2030.
The closing ceremony of the GA Festival 2019 was attended by H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, as well as high level dignitaries and representatives of the partners and supporters of the event.
Generation Amazing joined forces with official airline partner Qatar Airways for the Generation Amazing Festival 2019, with beIN Sports being named the official Media Partner. The festival was supported by Qatar Football Association, Qatar Museums, Ashghal, Q Life and Medical Insurance Company, and the University Campus of Football Business.
FIFA Foundation also partnered with Generation Amazing for the festival which was organised together with streetfootballworld. Qatar Foundation was a strategic partner having been the main the main grounds for the festival.
During Festival 2019, SC Ambassadors Mubarak Mustafa, Adel Khamis, Wael Gomaa and Younis Mahmoud inspired youth with their presence, and participants got the chance to interact with global legends Tim Cahill, John Arne Riise, and FIFA Legends Michael Owen, Yaya Toure, Santiago Solari, Kristine Lilly, Steve McManaman, Bebeto and Julio Cesar.
140 youth participants from 24 countries, including Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, India, the Philippines, Nepal, Italy, Belgium, the UK and Brazil, among many others nationalities, participated. In her welcome address to youth at the festival, Generation Amazing Marketing and Communications Director Moza Al Mohannadi said:
“You are the future game-changers. You are the future. Welcome to Generation Amazing, welcome to Qatar, welcome to the country that will host the World Cup 2022. I hope to see you here again and again, let’s get the Generation Amazing Festival 2019 started.”
Generation Amazing Partner Clubs – AS Roma, KAS Eupen, Leeds United and Sheffield F.C., all sent youth delegations alongside a participating delegation from Brazilian champions Flamengo who took part in the FIFA Club World Cup™. Also in attendance was a delegation from the English Football Association, while PSG Academy in Doha organised a series of football training sessions for participants. A football for good tournament rounded up the festival’s educational and entertainment experience and offered participants the chance to apply all the technical and personal skills they acquired throughout the festival.
Speaking at the tournament 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 Generation Amazing Festival 2019. We’ve been able to reach 500,000 beneficiaries, this is something that 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.”
Speaking about the teamwork and togetherness at the festival, Mrs. Machaille Al-Naimi, President of Community Development, Qatar Foundation, said: “We have seen this in evidence during the Generation Amazing youth festival, where the spirit displayed by its young participants has been wonderful to witness. It has been Qatar Foundation’s pleasure to host the festival at Oxygen Park, a space which epitomizes our commitment to providing opportunities for people to embrace sport and physical activity, to live healthy and active lifestyles, and to interact with each other.”
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-finals of the FIFA Club World Cup™ between Liverpool and Monterrey.
Generation Amazing coach, 26-year-old Jafla Al Hajri, was a team leader for participants at the Festival, and talked about what the football for development sessions at the festival taught her, saying:
“I was a leader of a team and 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. Azit said: “Football3 is so exciting that we feel quality teamwork, respect – it’s really nice to be here, to be ambassador of this programme and to be a part of this festival.”
Angela Jessa Hifume, a 21-year-old Generation Amazing Youth Ambassador from the Philippines travelled to Doha for the festival and learnt about mediation. She said: “We had a session about mediation, mediation is all about leadership, getting involved, being a friend and being in touch.”
Youth met with Dutch football legend Johan Neeskens who gave an inspiring speech about the positive impact of football. In his talk he encouraged the youth to work together: “It doesn’t matter what colour you are or what belief you have, you can see in the programme here that football brings people together,” he said.
PSG Academy in Doha led a series of training sessions for youth ambassadors and attendees. During their time in Doha the young participants also got the chance to meet and engage in a Q&A with former Liverpool F.C. and England striker Michael Owen, who praised the Generation Amazing programme saying: “Football includes so many different types of life skills, and Generation Amazing is obviously doing a great job.”
The festival agenda featured unique cultural, networking and celebratory activities, including the Closing Awards and a visit of the iconic Qatar National Museum. Towards the end of their journey in Doha, participants got the opportunity to attend a FIFA Legends day which rounded up the festival with talks, training sessions and a match between star players and the young leaders.