Highlights of the first day of 21st EFDN’s #MoreThanFootball conference in Warsaw!

24 April 2024

Highlights of the first day of 21st EFDN’s #MoreThanFootball conference in Warsaw!

Our first day of the 21st EFDN #MoreThanFootball Conference in Warsaw started with the General Assembly hosted only for EFDN members. In the Legia Warsaw pressroom, the present organisations network shared insights and strategies on the current challenges in the world of ESG and FSR in Football.

Caj Sohal opened the event with an inspiring storytelling taking all the delegates back to where they were 10 years ago. Afterwards, Bálint Máté, EFDN Board member officially welcomed all attendees from all over the Europe. Notable speakers included Anna Mioduska (President of Legia Foundation), Jan Willem van der Roest (Utrecht University), Jessica Yavitz (Chicago Fire), and Movember, (Paul Williams and Tracy Herd).

In the afternoon, there were several breakout sessions hosted, which were 45-minutes of open-eye sessions related to topics such as how a smart strategy through social projects can affect in a extremely positive way different aspects of your organisation.

P.L.A.Y.S. Chicago Fire

The presentation of Jessica Yavitz included an overview of the CSR work of the Chicago Fire and Chicago Fire Foundation. There was a deep dive into the creation of their P.L.A.Y.S. program and where it started to where it was at the time.

Football and disabilities panel

EFDN had the pleasure of hosting the Football and Disabilities Panel, which combined perspectives from experts on disability football, including views on intellectual and physical disabilities.

Breakout sessions overview

  • Malmö FF: With their presentation on their Show Racism the Red Card project, they convinced clubs to empower the next generation to embrace diversity and gave racism the red card.
  • The FC Groningen Foundation shared experiences and the development of their strategy towards working against physical inactivity in their region. Besides that, they shared their experiences with impact monitoring and the development of their impact strategy.
  • The Levante UD Foundation explained how a smart strategy through social projects could affect various aspects of their organization in an extremely positive way, including the economic, prestige, reach, sponsorships, media presence, and new business avenues.
  • Stefanie Michalzik showed how they implemented the courses at Eintracht Frankfurt. She also pointed out ways for a club to improve the situation in the stadium for deaf people.
  • Burnley FC in the Community’s presentation brought to life positive partnerships that tapped into Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agendas. They highlighted how they engaged with their employees and involved them in what they did, from volunteering at projects to fundraising and events.
  • CSR manager Iris de Iongh from Excelsior took us through the journey in which they helped grow the participants, the project, and their own organisation.
  • Stabaek gave a presentation on the topic of inclusion of vulnerable groups through the Street Soccer Programmes. The talk provided insight into experiences and knowledge gained over 10 years of practice. Street football teams were presented as a social innovation in Norwegian society with a positive impact on the players’ empowerment and their recovery process. They also underlined the economic benefit to society and explained how the activity was financed.

Speaker Quotes

“We show people we are there and that we do things differently. I think we are really making a difference.”

Jaime Cañellas, Levante UD Foundation

“Tell people what you are doing, show them what you’re doing and be proud of what you’re doing”

Iris de Iongh, CSR Manager at Excelsior Foundation

“The four values of a football club are: sporting, business, cultural and public values.”

Jan Willem van der Roest, University Utrecht

“Legia foundation gives hope to those who are less fortunate.”

Anna Mioduska, President of Legia Foundation

Discussions centred on transparency, inclusivity, sustainability, and the positive impact of football on communities.

The #MoreThanFootball Conference concluded with an amazing dinner at the Belvedere Restaurant, located in the iconic, full of nature, Łazienki Park. It was great evening filled with networking, informal discussions and great food.