Football for Social Development

Football for Social Development

Football United is a world leader in using football for social developmentMuch research indicates that participation in sport is crucial in the development of young people. Health and fitness, through the pursuit of physical activity, is widely regarded as a key factor in personal development and many of the skills that are fundamental in sports participation, particularly in team sports, are transferable in wider aspects of life. Sport also facilitates strong community bonds, development of life skills and access to positive role models for young people. In diverse communities these features are essential to social development.

Here is evidence (2012) that indicates Football United's football for social development is highly effective. Head over to our Research section to learn more of our work through the University of NSW.

Working with Youth

The transition from childhood to adulthood can be a challenge in itself. When young refugees arrive in new communities there is often an added dimension of practical challenges, such as learning new languages, cultural and societal values. Refugees from conflict impacted areas often carry emotionally traumatic experiences with them, such as loss of, or separation from family members, torture or life threatening events.


Football, in particular, is an ideal tool to foster socialisation. It is inexpensive, enjoys worldwide enthusiasm and is designed as a non-violent sport. It is played by both genders, thus is non-exclusive. It provides transferable skills of fair play, tolerance, inclusion and understanding of oneself, team mates and opponents alike. It teaches of responsibility, winning, losing and participation. It can address diverse and complex issues, such as children’s rights, peace building, education, health promotion and anti-discrimination.

Statement of Intent

Football United aims to build capacity of communities and improve the skills of people in diverse areas that includes high proportions of refugee, migrant and Aboriginal Australian children, youth and families.

This is achieved by:

  1. Providing leadership development for youth and young adults empowering them as coaches and coordinators of Football programs.
  2. Implementing weekly football activities for children, planned and delivered by these coaches.
  3. Building extensive partnerships with local schools, Intensive English Centres, Migrant resource Centres, Football Clubs,PCYC’s, councils, businesses and community groups.
  4. Delivering ground breaking research into the benefits of using Football to improve social cohesion in urban regions.