Since the confirmation of the bid for organising the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar has made huge strides to develop football in a sustainable and inclusive way, making headway over the past decade in creating excellent infrastructure for the projects to thrive.
On the outskirts of creating the most exciting edition of the FIFA World Cup ever seen, Qatar has also invested in education programmes and football programmes throughout the world in order for the development of the sport and education on the whole globe.
Launched in 2010 by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy as part of Qatar’s bid for the FIFA World Cup 2022, Generation Amazing’s football for development outreach and education programmes helps support vulnerable and displaced people.
The goal is to empower new generations of young leaders to transform their communities and generate positive social development through the creation of sustainable programmes.
The motto of Generation Amazing is to use football to empower the youth and improve the world, with the movement containing youth advocates, coaches, volunteers and star players.
More than 1 million people in more than 35 countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas have benefitted from the programmes, with long-term partnerships already established with FIFA Foundation, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Education Above All, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and CONCACAF, football’s governing body for North, Central America and the Caribbean.
Generation Amazing has also built more than 30 football pitches for under-privileged communities across the Middle East and Asia over the past 10 years.
“By using the power of football, participants in our programmes learn key life skills such as teamwork, leadership and communication, to address social issues in the places they live. With the support of our partners, Generation Amazing is making an important global contribution and working hard to leverage Qatar’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup,” said Nasser Al Khori, Executive Director, Generation Amazing Foundation.
On the outskirts of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which takes place in eight venues in a 50-kilometre radius around Qatar’s capital, Doha, the fourth annual youth festival of Generation Amazing took place, serving as the in-person phase of the year-long Goal 22 project and brought together more than 300 international students in Doha to teach them football for development practices that emphasise and advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through workshops and activities, exploring topics such as sports diplomacy, sustainability, diversity and inclusion, leadership, mental health and more.
Special remarks were made to more than 600 guests by H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, and Chairman, Generation Amazing Foundation; Gianni Infantino, FIFA President; Nasser Al Khori, Executive Director, Generation Amazing; David Beckham, Generation Amazing Ambassador; and Ryan Reynolds, Hollywood actor and co-owner of Wrexham FC.
“Our aim is to help people develop crucial global citizenship skills while supporting capacity building through the power of football,” said Al Khori. “We want to offer much more than technical support to bring about social change to disadvantaged and marginalised communities.”
“This requires educational and theoretical understanding in addition to cultural awareness and exposure that is best gained through peer-to-peer interaction, and we’re very proud to provide that in an unprecedent way, adding and contributing to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 legacy through our Goal 22 programme,” added Al Khori.
“The Generation Amazing Youth Festival, in particular, provides an opportunity for many young adults, and even their educators and our invited delivery facilitators, to be introduced to innovative sport for development frameworks, gain insight into their opportunities and challenges, and learn about new perspectives and cultures while expanding their own potential,” concluded the Executive Director of the Generation Amazing Foundation.
Since 2019, Generation Amazing has hosted its youth festival on the sidelines of major sporting events, such as the FIFA Club World Cup™ and FIFA Arab Cup™. This year’s festival included workshops and panels that were organised and facilitated by more than 30 partner organisations. These included discussions on women in sport, creating positive impact through sport, sustainability, climate change and inclusive leadership through sport, among others.
As part of the festival programme, youth participated in an inclusive football activation called the ‘All-In Tournament’ – a mini World Cup – and had the opportunity to celebrate cross-cultural interaction and diversity at the closing cultural ceremony. In addition to local and international musical acts and performances, students performed their own pieces to showcase their cultures and traditions. The ceremony included remarks from Salah Khaled, Director of the UNESCO Office for the Arab States of the Gulf and Yemen, a strategic partner of the festival.