In July 2015, Bridgestone Mexico engaged Freestyle Football Federation on a new and meaningful CSR programme, which involved freestyle football.
Being sponsors of the Bridgestone Freestyle Cup, an event consisting of a series of freestyle football competitions held across Latin America in 2014 and 2015, they were keen to encourage more people to pick up the sport as it is a great form of self-expression - practitioners perform creative tricks using a football, with any part of the body.
In addition, they hoped to make a difference in the lives of children and youths in underprivileged communities by reducing violence often seen in sports, and letting them experience camaraderie and healthy competition when playing sports.
PROGRAMME & PLANNING
The five-hour programme that kicked off with volunteer training, followed by a freestyle clinic with children before ending with a lunch and giveaway ceremony.
The collaboration saw Freestyle Football Federation's professionals imparting freestyle football skills to the volunteers, who then taught beneficiaries under Street Soccer Mexico AC, an organisation which aims to use sports as a tool for social change among the homeless and underprivileged.
A series of talks conducted by Mexican Red Cross volunteers. Titled "Friendly Stadium" talk, the session imparted life skills and awareness coaching to the Bridgestone Mexico volunteers. This helped ensure that they were equipped to handle the young people - street children with a range of social problems - whom they would later meet.
During the two-hour volunteer training session, 30 of Bridgestone Mexico's employees - even those who have never kicked a ball - picked up football tricks from Steve Elias, head of North America Freestyle Football Federation, and Esteban Hernandez, 2014 Freestyle Mexico Champion. They also completed challenges they were structured to encourage peer-to-peer leaning.
After a short lunch break, the volunteers each led a team of three to four young people from local Mexican communities, Santa Cruz Meyehualco and Iztapalapa. They guided their groups through a series of core skill challenges with the aim of showcasing what was learnt at the end of the day.
All 58 children and their families who participated in the session thoroughly enjoyed themselves. At the end of the day, each of them received a football as keepsake, and in recognition of his or her ability to pick up skills quickly.
Employees who took part felt that it helped to encourage them to be more active and become more confident;it also allowed them to connect with the local community in a way they had never felt before.
The highlight of the event was seeing three females from the team, who had barely kicked a ball before, become confident enough to lead a group of young people and learn skills together.
Organiser: Freestyle Football Federation
Contact: Daniel Wood ([email protected])
Event: Bridgestone corporate social responsibility (CSR)
Date: July 14, 2015
Event Size: 30
Client: Bridgestone Mexico