Preparations are moving apace for the third UEFA Grassroots Day which will be celebrated on Wednesday 16 May – with Europe's national associations getting ready to join in the festivities.
The day highlights the importance of grassroots football across Europe and emphasises UEFA's key messages that football is accessible to everyone and that healthy roots help the elite levels of the game flourish. Today's superstars all began playing grassroots football as youngsters.
A number of activities are scheduled for the 2012 UEFA Grassroots Day. A comprehensive web campaign will carry videos, photos, lesson plans and online games which have a grassroots focus. The UEFA Grassroots Day website will contain a calendar of events taking place across Europe as well as up-to-date news and features on the grassroots activities being held within UEFA's 53 national associations.
UEFA hopes that every national association will participate in the UEFA Grassroots Day celebrations and use the occasion to promote its own grassroots programmes. The European FAs play a full role in UEFA's grassroots drive, with their efforts being recognised by the football governing body through the UEFA Grassroots Charter, whereby UEFA stimulates the associations to develop their grassroots work.
The associations have been invited to tell UEFA about their UEFA Grassroots Day plans, particularly as the website will provide coverage. UEFA will also be furnishing the associations with T-shirts and footballs for the big day.
Exceptional grassroots work is also rewarded by UEFA through the presentation of UEFA Grassroots Awards. The associations are being invited to nominate candidates in three categories:
• Best Grassroots Leader – an individual who has done remarkable voluntary work in this area
• Best Grassroots Project – an extra special project in grassroots football run within the national association by a regional association, agency or school
• Best Grassroots Club – an amateur club which does outstanding work in this field
On Wednesday 16 May, at the site of the UEFA Champions Festival in Munich, UEFA will organise grassroots events on the main pitch in conjunction with the German Football Association (DFB). In addition, UEFA will present a maxi-pitch to the cities of Munich and Bucharest to thank them for their hosting of the 2012 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League finals respectively.
To mark UEFA Grassroots Day, UEFA has produced a football-themed card game for children – Top Trumps. The aim of the game is to allow children to learn basic facts and football-themed trivia while playing a variation of a card game that has been popular throughout Europe for many years. All UEFA member associations will receive card packs for distribution within their organisation and an online version is exclusively available on the UEFA Grassroots Day website.
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