FC Bayern Munich and SOS Children's Villages launched a partnership today that will offer children the opportunity to discover themselves, to grow beyond their own limits and unlock their hidden potential – in life, as well as on the pitch.
The joint educational project, called the ‘Arena of Change’, allows children of different age groups to learn not only from each other, but also from real professionals, without pressure or evaluation. FC Bayern’s players and young talents will serve as role models for the young participants, and the football club will make its premises available for the children.
“I am delighted to have such a strong partner as FC Bayern Munich by our side,” says Petra Horn, board member of SOS Children's Villages Worldwide, a German branch of SOS Children’s Villages. “Together we have developed a completely new, innovative project. In the Arena of Change, girls and boys will be given the chance to grow together and learn from professionals. Here they benefit from the motivating and inspiring environment at FC Bayern.”
Ms Horn noted that team sports, especially football, is an important part of SOS Children's Villages around the world. “It teaches children team spirit, respect, fair play and much more," she says. “This is a perfect basis for sustainable cooperation and for real social added value.”
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, CEO of FC Bayern München AG, calls the multi-year cooperation with SOS Children's Villages “an important, necessary step for FC Bayern” as it seeks to make its vision for social sustainability more effective and visible. “SOS Children’s Villages is a leader in the international league of aid organizations and fits perfectly with FC Bayern," he says.
“Social responsibility has always been very important to FC Bayern,” adds Herbert Hainer, President and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of FC Bayern Munich. “We look forward to working with SOS Children’s Villages, to the new experience with the Arena of Change and the mutual exchange."
Children of all backgrounds
The Arena of Change focuses on each child's well-being to develop courage and competence through creative arts, sports and science. Girls and boys – ranging in age from eight to 14 – can help each child discover their talents and build resilience as they learn to play football together.
In the program’s pilot phase, 60 children from five schools in Munich will go through a performance-oriented, varied program for two years with the aim of boosting their future opportunities. The program, managed and organized by SOS Children's Villages staff, is for children of all socio-economic backgrounds, with equal participation of girls and boys.
Ms Horn says, “I am looking forward to a long-term cooperation and I am very excited to see the effects on the children for themselves."