- Copy link
This Monday 6 April was the date that the ninth edition of the Barça Academy World Cup was scheduled to start at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper, the international tournament held each Easter at the FC Barcelona training ground involving 2,000 children from the fifty-or-so Barça Academies in all five continents and in more than 20 countries. But the global crisis caused by the coronavirus has changed the plans of more than 20,000 young athletes who have been learning the Barça methodology and values around the world.
Since coronavirus lockdown started in late January in China, the coaches at the Barça Academies around the world have had to reinvent themselves in order to offer different kinds of remote training to their players. Among other things, the Local Project Directors (DPL) at each academy have been using the time to offer contents based on the 120 years of club history.
This means that as well as knowing about the recent successes at FC Barcelona, historic nights at Camp Nou, the best goals scored by the stars and the lives and miracles of everyone in the 2019-20 squad, the players have also been surprised by what their DPLs have been telling them about the history of the club via Kahoot, and which means they are now knowledgeable about the club in previous eras as well.
Things they have learned have included the surname of the man who founded FC Barcelona, the name of the club’s first big stadium, the name of the legendary team that won so any major trophies from 1950 and 1953, the legendary player that changed the club when he arrived in 1973 and the manager who led FC Barcelona to all six trophies in the same calendar year.
Constant contact with Barça Academy students
As well as this approach to club history, the Barça Academy pupils in all five continents have also been given access to videos that they can use to keep exercising from their homes. These fitness routines and skills challenges can then be shared on social networks and with other Barça Academies using the #BarçaAcademyStayHome hashtag.
The players have been receiving expert advice from their DPLs and local coaches across different digital platforms. These have included links to watch historic FC Barcelona games, online discussions of tactical matters and the pooling of different ideas in video conferences.
The Barça Academy project director, Carles Martín, said that “it was a major challenge for us to re-adapt so quickly to the situation caused by the global pandemic and to switch from face-to-face sports training to doing so remotely, but we have created a whole series of training programmes and entertainments to ensure that Barça Academy students all around the world stay attached to the project. We also thank our partners for being so understanding. We have been working closely with them to minimise the effects of coronavirus in their respective regions and that will help us all to come back stronger when this is all over. And it has all happened at such an important time of the season for us as the Barça Academy World Cup, our annual festival when everyone wants to come to Barcelona to feel close to the team and share our love for Barça in first person. We hope to all meet up once again in 2021 and enjoy an even bigger party than ever to make up for what we have all had to go through”.
- Copy link