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FC Barcelona first vice president Jordi Cardoner took part in a conference titled ‘How access to sport revitalizes communities’ at the US Congress in Washington DC. The talk was organized by the US Soccer Foundation, Ed Foster-Simeon; the Executive Director of the Aspen Institute, Tom Farrey; the House Minority leader, Nancy Pelosi; the Representatives Rick Larsen, Grace Meng, Kyrsten Sinema, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz; and Senator Todd Young.
Also present were Club Ambassador Juliano Belletti, CEO Òscar Grau, Vice President Jordi Mestre and Board Members Jordi Moix, Joan Bladé, Silvio Elías, Enric Tombas, Josep Ramon Vidal-Abarca and Maria Vallès, as well as Club advisor James Costos, who was the US Ambassador to Spain from 2013 to 2017.
The talk was chaired by Mr. Farrey, who spoke about the role sport plays in improving the lives of youngsters and leading them away from danger. Mr. Cardoner began his contribution by pointing out that Tuesday is the 25th anniversary of the opening ceremony at the Barcelona Olympics before moving on to explain the importance of educating youngsters via sport and commenting on the FutbolNet programme that will begin in the autumn in New York, Washington and Miami.
In front of a 200 strong audience, Cardoner, the Barça Vice President, also highlighted the importance of education, both sporting and personal, for the youngsters at La Masia based on the values of humility, strength, ambition, respect and teamwork. He also touched upon the global nature of the club with more than 300 million followers on social media making Barça a leader in the field and with the work of the Foundation in more than 50 countries around the world reaching more than half a million children annually.
He also highlighted the vital role of the United States in the development of the sport and Barça’s role in helping football grow in a country where it does not have the history of other sports, despite its growth in recent years. For this reason, and the Club’s decision to launch a women’s team in the US, and the opening of the FC Barcelona office in New York takes on even greater importance.
For his part, Mr. Foster-Simeon, described the US Soccer Foundation’s effort to help impoverished communities use football as a tool for integration and to improve the quality of life.
The event finished with cocktails for those attending and the chance to mingle and exchange ideas on various common projects with the objective of maintaining the now established partnerships.
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