From this academic year (2015/16), China has included football as a subject in the curricula of primary and secondary schools. To celebrate this milestone, the FC Barcelona Foundation and the Foundation of Chinese Education Catalonia (FEX) organised a special 'Barçakids' session on Saturday for around 250 children between the ages of six and 12 from the Chinese community of Catalonia.
The activity took place at l’Escola Pia Nostra Senyora in Barcelona and allowed children to work in the classrooms and sports courts on the five values promoted by the project: effort, respect, humility, teamwork and ambition.
Present at the session was first vice-president of the club Jordi Cardoner i Casaus and the new Consul General of China in Barcelona Tang Heng as well as the president of FEX, Zhuomin Ma.
The FC Barcelona Foundation sees football as a powerful integration tool, for education and promotion of healthy habits, and therefore welcomes its inclusion in the Chinese school curriculum.
For Cardoner, incorporating football into the Chinese education system is “very important because it is a nation with a huge global reach”. The vice-president also stressed that "football is not only a sport, it also has culture and values involved, and we are confident that China will also follow these values and which today have been enjoyed by these children at Barçakids".
Heng stated: "Today is a very special day for the Chinese people because football is a community-based sport that serves to promote social cohesion". The values of football are also key reasons "why the Chinese government wants to encourage it,” said Heng.
'Barçakids' is a program created by the FC Barcelona Foundation which aims to promote and strengthen the values of children through the principles of sport, play and active participation. The project has been taking place in schools in the Catalan region since the 2011/12 season and encourages reflection about the values of children through sport and classroom activities. The project is aimed at children aged between six and 12, and also aims to involve the family and the educational community with interesting educational resources on the website www.fcbkids.cat.