Spanish football league, LaLiga recently hosted an exclusive media briefing to reiterate its commitment to societal development through football amidst the global COVID-19 crisis. The virtual event allowed key Nigerian media to engage in insightful and interactive sessions on the league’s efforts towards societal development.
Despite the postponement of the competition on March 12th due to COVID-19, LaLiga did not stand still as it led several high-profile solidarity actions during the confinement period in Spain, in addition to coordinating and promoting those of others. Under the global ‘LaLiga se juega en casa’ strategy (meaning ‘LaLiga is played at home’), over 1.2 million euros has been raised for the acquisition of medical equipment, among other things. Among the most innovative and followed actions were the macro charity music concert LaLiga Santander Fest and eSports tournament LaLiga Santander Challenge, which drew an audience of over 61 million from all over the world.
Furthermore, LaLiga’s focus during the COVID-19 crisis has not been limited to actions for huge audiences, however, focusing also on those most affected by the outbreak and those already taking part in its up and running sporting and social projects worldwide. Some of these projects are social and sporting projects for youth development, permanent academies, the creation of socio-educational schools, projects for instilling values, social intervention projects, local scouting projects with high-performance visits to Spain, collaborations with national teams, projects to train coaches and managers, annual Spanish Academies Meetings, and MoUs with national leagues and federations.
Since its entrance into the Nigerian market, LaLiga has worked with various bodies in Nigeria including the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) on different projects that have targeted the development of football through different activations. This includes the NPFL/LaLiga U-15 Tournament designed to develop young talents, the NPFL/LaLiga Coaching Clinic designed to train youth coaches on how to properly develop young talents using the LaLiga methodology, its partnership with the Lagos Business School to host a Sports Business Management Programme in order to promote capacity development in Nigeria’s sports sector, and more. These partnerships and knowledge sharing initiatives restate LaLiga’s efforts towards societal development in Nigeria through football.
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With this objective in mind and thanks to this clear structure and method, LaLiga has contributed significantly to societal development through football around the world. 313 projects have been run in 35 countries since September 2015, training 200,000 children and 20,000 coaches and educators thanks to the 645 coaches sent by LaLiga. Likewise, 284 socio-educational schools have been created and 32 MoUs have been signed with leagues and federations in more than 26 countries, offering the perfect breeding ground for the proliferation of even more sporting and social projects in the future.
Commenting, LaLiga Delegate in Nigeria, Guillermo Perez Castello said, “The LaLiga se juega en casa strategy reflects the importance we put on innovation and collaboration and demonstrates our commitment to giving back to society. We look forward to implementing more strategies that contribute to overall societal development and promote participation in sports not just in Spain but in Nigeria also. With the restart of the season in June, fans in Nigeria and across the world will once again have the opportunity to enjoy excitement, passion, and unrivalled drama that comes along with the LaLiga games”.
In fact, one of LaLiga’s most important stated objectives is to support societal development and football growth around the world, under the slogan “We have an obligation to give back to society what society has given us.” The organisation sees the values of football as the ideal means of building a better world and, as a result, has put its influence and experience at the service of society. Sport by and for society. Especially at such a difficult time as now.