A group of 50 boys and girls have been the centre of attention for the new Barça Foundation project in collaboration with the Club's Diversity and Inclusion Department and La Masia. All the participants with intellectual functional diversity are over 16 years of age and have been chosen by various social organisations that are collaborating with Barça in this project.
The first Genuine day began with a training session at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper after which the participants and their families were welcomed by president Joan Laporta and director general of the Foundation, Marta Segú, before moving on to visit Camp Nou and the Barça Museum.
This new FC Barcelona project has as collaborating partners the Fundación Cruyff, Fundación Aura, Fundación Apinas, AMPANS, Fundación Sant Tomàs, Fundación Cassià Just - Cuina Justa and la Penya Special Barça. Organisations that dedicate themselves to improving the quality of life of those with diverse functionality via social and workplace inclusion.
To carry out the Barça Foundation Genuine team's sporting activities, the Club has chosen six people to form part of the coaching staff (two coaches and four behavioural support members) all of whom have vast experience in managing teams involving people with functional diversity as well as a support team of 10 volunteers.
This team is expected to take part in LaLiga Genuine Santander, a competition developed by the LaLiga Foundation in which results are based not just on goals but also fair play, team work, respect and overcoming obstacles which also applies not just to the players but also to the support staff and fans. As such, there are two league titles: one for the sporting champions and one for the fair play champions.
The creation of the team has been once of the first objectives of the new board of directors in its social area, a proposal by the president Joan Laporta before assuming his new mandate. It is one of the first examples of the new project of inclusion and integration at the Club.
The LaLiga Genuine Santander for 2021/22 is scheduled to start in January with the first phase of the competition after the tournament was put on hold back in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Barça Foundation has experience in working in this area as since 2015 it has put into place the 'Diversitat a Catalunya' and also subsequently in various schools in the city of New York and in Japan. The programme is aimed at children and young people with functional diversity who can have access to physical activity and sport thanks to the FutbolNet methodology.