Arsenal and charity focus on childhood trauma

Arsenal Football Club and its charity partner Save the Children presented a panel on sport’s role in addressing trauma at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The panel discussion, entitled ‘Children's Right to Recovery: I am the future’, focused on how the sports sector can provide leadership, effective partnerships and help leverage greater investment from the private sector to support children affected by conflict, and aid mental health and wellbeing. 

The football club and the international charity have been working together on the Coaching for Life campaign, which has combined Save the Children’s expertise in child protection with Arsenal’s experience of work in its local community. 

According to Beyond Sport Kevin Watkins, Chief Executive at Save the Children said: “We know that mental distress can affect children in a number of ways.

“It can lead to changes in behaviour, feelings of anxiety, depression, hopelessness and worthlessness... this distress can have life-long effects and has the potential to affect children’s long-term physical and cognitive development.

“Coaching for Life has been working in Jordan and Indonesia since 2018 to help and support some of these very vulnerable children. Save the Children has been committed to protecting children for 100 years and now thanks to The Arsenal Foundation, we can continue to empower and protect girls and boys through the sport that they love.” 

Coaching for Life’s first phase aims to engage over 4,000 children in Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp as well as those affected by poverty and violence in Jakarta’s slums in Indonesia. Co-created by The Arsenal Foundation and Save the Children, it has trained 14 coaches in Syria and 33 in Indonesia to deliver the programme across five pitches in Jordan and seven pitches in Indonesia. 

Chair of The Arsenal Foundation, Svenja Geissmar, added: “Our work and expertise, combined with the unique power Arsenal has to reach people, has responded to the needs of vulnerable young people and found a way to reach them. Through trusted coaches, carefully developed projects and being a constant presence and source of support and inspiration, Arsenal has supported thousands of young people." 

The event in Davos, drew on the campaign and speakers will include Save the Children’s CEO Kevin Watkins, Svenja Geissmar, the Chair of The Arsenal Foundation and Dr Leslie Snider, Director of MHPSS Collaborative for Children and Families in Adversity.

Read more about Beyond Sport.

Pic credit: Save the Children.