On the same day that FC Barcelona defeated Manchester United in the International Champions Cup, the DC Interscholastic Athletic Association (DCIAA) announced its partnership with the FC Barcelona Foundation.
DCIAA made the announcement on July 26 at Roosevelt High School in front of representatives from public middle and high school soccer teams across the city.
According to the Fundació FC Barcelona website, the program, FutbolNet, “uses football as a tool to promote values among young people through an innovative teaching methodology.” The program is designed for boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 16.
At the event, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Chancellor Antoine Wilson spoke to the student athletes about the importance of extracurricular activities. Bowser said the partnership “will help our students stay engaged and stay involved.”
Jordi Cardoner i Casaus, Vice President of Social Area and the FC Barcelona Foundation, highlighted that the FC Barcelona Foundation and DC Public Schools (DCPS) have the same goals for developing youth. Casaus also signed a contract making the partnership official.
According to the DCPS Instagram, the partnership “will help our students build not only athletic skills but character development as well.” The foundation will select a group of female athletes to travel to Barcelona in the spring.
Wilson soccer captain Simon Birnstad has high hopes for the partnership. “I hope that [the partnership is] able to shine a light on soccer in DC and help develop the league with opportunities and resources, so that the DCIAA soccer league can be as popular as the football and basketball league,” Birnstad said.
PHOTO COURTESY OF CREATIVE COMMONS