We have run the Vilnius Social Club football programme since 2013. What makes us different from the usual sports and other clubs is that football is first and foremost a tool for making a positive difference in the lives of children and young people.
The main goal is not sporting results, but a qualitative change in the life of each participant.
Who takes part in the football programme?
Around 80 people aged from 7 to 20 participate in the football programme each year, with participants comprising individuals with different experiences and issues. Most of them find a space where they are accepted regardless of their behaviour, financial situation or physical abilities.
How and when are classes held?
Participants are divided into six age groups, with each having a two-hour session once a week. Classes take place at different sports facilities in Vilnius, depending on the group, and are free of charge.
How to join?
Participants are registered for the football programme by our partners (including day-care centres, foster-care institutions and social workers), or by the child’s parents or guardians. However, the child or young person can also register for the programme independently.
Registration takes place at the start of the football season in September. If there are places available, you can sign up at any time. Keen to join? Contact us!
Football is just a tool
We want participants in the football programme to grow as individuals, and create a space in which children and young people can take part in regular and long-term activities at their own pace. By playing football, we learn to be on time and stay until the end, work as a team, manage our emotions, deal constructively with stressful and challenging situations, win and lose, interact with peers and adults, and reflect on our experiences.
Equal opportunities for all
We encourage diversity in the range of children who attend our football sessions, including girls and boys, quieter and louder children, different nationalities, and weaker and stronger individuals.
We constantly reflect on our work and try to be clear about the limits of our responsibilities. Instead of playing the role of “saviours of the world”, we choose to collaborate with our partners, provide them with feedback and work together to make a positive difference in the lives of children and young people.
The football programme is co-financed by the State Sports Support Fund, which is administered by the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, and the Education Exchange Support Fund.
In 2018, Vilnius Social Club was one of 20 organisations in Europe and the first from Lithuania to receive a UEFA Foundation for Children award for quality social work with children and young people through football.