The Cross Cultures Project Association (CCPA), which has been heavily involved in the promotion of grassroots football since its formation in 1999, underlined this commitment during UEFA Grassroots Day – with more than 16,000 children in the Balkan region engaged in activities in the week leading up to the UEFA Champions League final.
The CCPA, working together with national associations' grassroots departments, helped to arrange a number of activities for the inaugural annual celebration of grassroots football on Wednesday 19 May, three days before the European club game's showpiece occasion in Madrid. A total of 16,033 boys and girls aged between eight and 12 participated in UEFA Grassroots Day events across eight countries.
The CCPA's key football initiative, the Open Fun Football Schools, were again at the hub of the activities in the Balkan region. More than 12,000 boys and over 3,500 girls took part in the action on, and around, 19 May, with heads of city councils, city mayors and school directors also contributing in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
FYROM was one of the most active of the eight Balkan and Caucasus countries involved, with 3,500 youngsters participating in 15 different cities, while in Serbia 3,920 people joined in across six cities. Overall there were CCPA part-organised activities in 84 cities for UEFA Grassroots Day.
The CCPA's Open Fun Football Schools project has been a big success since it started as a peace-building exercise in Bosnia and Herzegovina eleven years ago. With the emphasis on bringing people together and having fun rather than the technical side of the game, the scheme works to assist youngsters in eleven nations, having recently extended its sphere of operations beyond Europe to include Iraq and Lebanon.
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