A national programme, sponsored by Fortum, to develop the skills of coaches of junior football teams has been named UEFA's Best Grassroots Project in Europe.
UEFA, the Union of European Football Associations, handed the UEFA Grassroots award to the Fortum Tutor programme which was launched in 2009 in partnership with the Football Association of Finland.
The goal is to make sure that children have an inspiring and competent coach. The programme has an impact on more than 20,000 children and their families around Finland.
A hundred football coaching experts have been selected as tutors. Each of them coaches over 2,000 junior coaches a year. The coaches receive the support and help they need in developing their coaching skills.
Fortum funds the programme while the responsibility for the content belongs to the Football Association of Finland.
The primary target group is the coaches of children from five to 11 years old. Children under 12 are seen as the most susceptible age in terms of learning the fundamentals of the sport, and therefore need an inspiring coach to support them.
— Fortum Tutor is a good example of a sponsorship programme where both corporation and national league devote to the future together, says Anne Brunila, Executive Vice President, Corporate Relations and Strategy, Fortum.
— For us, it is valuable to support hobbies that help children to develop their social skills and sense of togetherness. A skilful and motivating coach has a key role in the continuation of the child's hobby.