On Monday 5 September, on the occasion of the 17th ECA General Assembly, the winners of the 7th Edition of the ECA Awards will be announced.
First introduced in 2010 with the aim of rewarding outstanding club performances, encouraging best practice and highlighting successful club management, the ECA Awards encompass four different themes, rewarding great achievements both on and off the pitch.
Over the years, one specific Award category, the Best Community & Social Responsibility Programme Award, commonly referred to as the ECA CSR Award, gained in importance. This year, the record number of 48 applications was received, and the final winner will come out of the 10 shortlisted projects shortly described hereunder.
KAA Gent (Belgium) - "KAA Gent Homeless Blue White"
KAA Gent Homeless Blue White helps homeless people, refugees and people in rehabilitation of drug and/or alcohol addiction to build a network of social relations, in an environment with attention to physical and mental health. 65 participants took part in the programme last year.
Paris Saint-Germain FC (France) - "RED & BLUE Schools"
Based in the disadvantaged neighbourhoods of Paris, the RED & BLUE School is an after-school programme which combines sporting and educational activities for children aged 7 to 11, to help them flourish and give them a better chance of succeeding in life. For its first year, the RED & BLUE School welcomed 500 children, out of which 55 in its annual programme.
FC Schalke 04 (Germany) - "Kumpelkiste"
In cooperation with fans, members, friends, sponsors and partners the club collects and distributes money-, in kind- and service donations, once they are checked and sorted. About 10.000 'Kumpelkisten', boxes filled with donations and goods were distributed last year to the most needy communities.
PAOK FC (Greece) - "Football Unites"
PAOK FC launched the Football Unites programme in October 2015 and kicked off a series of initiatives for the relief of refugees, including a large scale plan of clothing and edibles donation, as well as emergency survival items for refugees in Thessaloniki.
AC Milan (Italy) - "Special Soccer Camp"
The Special Soccer Camp programme aims at allowing disabled children, who would otherwise be unable to practice sport, to do so. The programme brings together disabled children and children without any special needs in the AC Milan Summer Camps. Around 70 children are participating every summer.
BV Vitesse (Netherlands) - "Vitesse Hattrick"
The Vitesse Hattrick programme started in 2015, including three underlying projects: the Hattrick School, the Hattrick League and the Hattrick Academy. All the activities are executed in five poor neighbourhoods of Arnhem, and every neighbourhood delivers the same activities in their community. 200 participants are accounted on a weekly basis.
PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands) - "PSV United"
Reacting to the problem of vandalism and annoyance in some neighbourhoods of Eindhoven, the club developed a group focused programme for the youngsters in which their main interest, the football club PSV Eindhoven, is used as an instrument to achieve the pre-selected objectives. 100 children take part in the programme on an annual basis.
Vålerenga IF (Norway) - "Vålerenga Against Racism"
Fighting racism, Vålerenga Against Racism carries out a number of activities and projects that have improved integration, creating positive attitude, focus on Fair Play and increased activity levels for children, youth and adults in Oslo.
Aberdeen FC (Scotland) - "Dementia Friendly Wellbeing"
Aberdeen FC proactively supports the elderly communities affected by dementia to take part in activities that matter to them, by involving those with dementia in decision making, planning, and evaluating. Aberdeen FC directly engages with and supports 151 people living with dementia or carers weekly.
Villarreal CF (Spain) - "Endavant Igualtat"
The Endavant Igualtat initiative involves the collaboration of all 11-a-side reserve and academy teams with a special centre (for disabilities) in the Castellón province, whom they will be sponsoring throughout the season.
ECA would already like to warmly congratulate all applicants for their outstanding work, and wishes good luck to the ten shortlisted clubs!
The final winner will be announced on Monday 5 September, and a press release will follow. For any query please contact the ECA Administration via firstname.lastname@example.org.