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Updated: Oct 26, 2023

On Thursday 28 and Friday 29 April, over 80 fourth and fifth grade children from the primary school of the Pertini institute in the Neapolitan district of Scampia took the field for the first two days of the "Pelota de Trapo - Football belongs to everyone" project.

The project, promoted by Play for Change and Scholas Occurrentes with the support of the UEFA Foundation for Children, in collaboration with the FIGC youth sector (Italian Football Federation) and ASAG Catholic University of Milan, foresees the creation of a sports-educational program for girls and boys among 9 and 12 years old who live in the suburbs of the major Italian cities (Milan, Turin, Rome, Naples), through a path to raise awareness on the values of women's football and personal growth.

The initiative starts from the meeting in Mozambique in 2019 of Pope Francis with the young people of Scholas Occurrentes. The Pope intended to recall the world of sport - and football in particular - to the values of that "Pelota de Trapo" ("ball of rags") with which he primarily played as a child. The project in Scampia sees as local partners Napoli Calcio Femminile and the Play Time sport association and Idea Bellezza as sponsor.

The coaches of all partner associations are finalizing a training course to learn the Futval "Football with Values" method - recognized by the FIGC - to start a process of reflection on gender equality in sport and on how to deal with prejudices and stereotypes related to women's soccer. This method will then be used during the summer camp organized by the partner associations.

From September, some girls will be given the opportunity to enroll for free in the courses of the football school of the associations with the aim of encouraging them to start a sporting path related to football.

In this way, the realities of the territories involved will acquire methodological tools to propose an increasingly inclusive sport and to make football live as a sport where it is possible to experience encounter and gender equality.

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