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Communities, clubs and social issues at the heart of Malta FA’s FSR Department

Photo: Kyra Borg Delicata

Sunday, May 19 was a day when the Football Social Responsibility Department (Malta FA) celebrated women’s football and also engaged with participants to create awareness about issues regarding domestic violence as part of its EU-funded project Goalscore, (www.projectgoalscore.com).

The activity was one of a number of events that the FSR holds every week to promote social responsibility through football sessions, activities and festivals.

Female participants together with members of Malta women’s national team engaged in a football festival, where the national team players mentored the six teams taking part.

These included the Valletta women’s team, as well as participants of MFA’s other social projects – Parr Mela Rockets, Sliema Eagles FC, Mdina Stars, Liedna Fgura FC, Qormi Hurricanes and Floriana Thunders, a team made up of Palestinian female refugees.

The event also included an information session on the Goalscore project and was attended by amongst others Chiara Funari, Project Adviser for Erasmus+ Sport, European Education and Culture Executive Agency, who said: “Sport is an essential part of the European identity and Erasmus+ Sport encourages Europeans to stay healthy, feel safe and be active.”

On her part, Josie Cassar, Director at the Inħobb Il-Futbol Foundation, said: “The Goalscore project is a key example of how football can be used to raise awareness about specific social issues whilst providing a platform to grow the game at grassroots level.

“This aligns well with our Foundation’s key objectives.”

Several women’s national team players gave their views on the Goalscore project.

Veronique Mifsud said that football was the perfect tool to unite people.

“Football unites people, making it an excellent platform to collectively raise awareness about domestic violence,” she said.

Valentina Rapa says the project helps to kick out domestic violence out of the game.

“At Project GoalScore, we unite the passion of football to kick domestic violence out of the game and create a winning future for all,” Rapa said.

“Football teaches teamwork on the field, let’s apply it off the field to tackle domestic violence together.”

“Football serves as our common language, uniting us in the joy of playing the beautiful game while standing together against all forms of abuse and violence,” Ann Marie Said said.

“Let’s GOALSCORE in our fight against domestic violence.”

Malta national team assistant coach Dionne Tonna claimed that: “On and off the pitch there is no tolerance to all forms of violence.”

Jade Flask passed a very important message. “You are not your trauma. Your dysfunctions are not a measurement of your true ability,” she said.

Samantha Pace Gasan (Commissioner) Anna Borg (Malta Women’s Lobby) and Kerry Hermitage (Fondazzjoni Sebħ) also participated in the Goalscore Festival, as well as Malta FA vice-president Maria Azzopardi.

“Goalscore is one of a number of EU-funded projects which enables us to reach out to clubs and the communities they embrace,” said Peter Busuttil, FSR director at the Malta Football Association.

“It’s about football and beyond… It’s about the team and its supporters, their families, their friends and their social condition.”

The Malta Football Association partnered with the Beat the Silence Campaign as part of the Goalscore project.

From left: Malta FA vice-president Maria Azzopardi with FSR Department director Peter Busuttil and Dionne Tonna, the national team’s assistant coach. Photo: Kyra Borg Delicata

In the coming weeks and months the FSR department will continue to organise sessions in clubs and communities to promote awareness about domestic violence issues and how to prevent, report and resolve.

As part of the Goalscore campaign and as well as part of the build up to the national team’s game against Bosnia-Herzegovina, supporters can win free tickets by participating in a quiz on our Goalscore website www.projectgoalscore.com.

To join the initiatives, participate in FSR events, and gain more information on how one can engage with the department send an email on fsr@mfa.com.mt or join the next FSR event in Birżebbuġa, a beach soccer event, on June 30.

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