At the AFC– Premier League Football Social Development Conference 2017, Football for All in Vietnam (FFAV), Shell Qatar and Nguyen Hoang Phuong from Vietnam were presented with the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Dream Asia Awards 2017 today in Hong Kong.
The Awards are presented in three categories annually- corporate, non-governmental organisation (NGO) and individual – and they recognise and honour exemplary commitment towards social development using football as an agent for change.
This year, the awards were handed to the winners by AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor John, Premier League Executive Chairman Richard Scudamore and the Chairman of the AFC Social Responsibility Committee, Ahmed Eid S. Al Harbi.
Speaking at the Award ceremony, AFC General Secretary Dato’ Windsor said, “We have been delighted at not only the quality of the entries but also – and more importantly – the extremely important work which is going on across Asia in the field of Football for Social Development.”
Further he added, “The AFC has included undertaking effective social responsibility campaigns to improve the lives of people of the Continent as part of our AFC Vision and Mission, and it is fulfilling to see that so many, including our worthy winners, are contributing so much to society.”
Ahmed Eid added: “As Chairman of the AFC Social Responsibility Committee, we work hard to encourage not only the AFC but also individuals, businesses and NGOs to contribute to society using football as a power for good.”
Speaking more about the awards, he added, “Through our AFC Dream Asia Awards and the AFC Dream Asia Foundation, which was announced by the AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa in March, we will look to encourage and support all our winners.”
The NGO, FFAV, develops grassroots football programmes across Vietnam, widening participation by encouraging more girls to play, and involving disabled children and other groups which have previously been excluded, with football as a platform to teach children important life skills.
FFAV teaching is not only limited to football skills but also educates about HIV/AIDS, personal hygiene and sanitation, communication skills and traffic safety. Awareness of Explosive Remnants of War, such as landmines, is also an important topic in some regions of the country, addressed through football.
Other awardee, Shell Qatar’s Koora Time is a nation-wide initiative to improve the health and well-being of young people in Qatar through football, which is the most popular sport in the country; thus getting the AFC Dream Asia Award 2017 in the corporate category.
A community-based initiative, Koora Time promotes a healthy and active lifestyle by providing school children with more hours of physical activity and more opportunities and spaces to play. The initiative has a participant ratio split equally between boys and girls. Koora Time is the only football education programme in Qatar.
The third category winner, Nguyen Hoang Phuong (in the individual category) has been a strong advocate for accessible, inclusive football in Vietnam since 2001. He has an impressive record on grassroots football development.
Nguyen was instrumental in securing the support of the Vietnam Ministry of Education and Training for the development of grassroots football in schools across the country. His programme to widen participation has been run in Laos and a football programme for refugees has taken place on the Myanmar-Thailand border.
Nguyen has contributed to the empowerment and engagement of girls and women around the country in football, a sport that has traditionally been regarded as being only for men.
He also developed an alternative, motivational learning model through football, which has been adopted by the Ministry of Education and Training for national use. The model has also been adapted to other fields such as Mathematics, Art and English.