Morton in the Community had the pleasure of another European tie this time in Lisbon, Portugal. Attending the 8th EFDN conference with counterparts from AC Milan, Inter Milan, PSG, Rangers and Montrose to name a few.

The 2 day conference held at Estadio Da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal, home of Benfica FC, was aimed at sharing best practice and highlighting the “More than Football” action week which runs from 30th March to 9th April. This action week will allow clubs and trusts to showcase all the amazing work in their communities and beyond. Showcasing the positive change we can make to people’s lives through the power of the local football club.

Day 1 – Tuesday 21st April 2017 :

The conference was officially opened by Ton Strooband – Chair of EFDN Foundation, before a welcome from our host Jorge Miranda – Director Coordinator of Benfica Foundation. Benfica Foundation highlighted the importance of their programmes and more specifically “Prevention and Intervention in Tackling Early School Leaving”  an inspirational foundation tackling key issues within their community using the club badge to influence change in young people’s behaviour.

Day 1 continued with Alex White – premier league communities, highlighting the 9 key programmes all 92 English Football league clubs provide to target specific areas such as disability, girls participation and social inclusion programmes to name a few.

Breakout sessions provided the opportunity to network and plan #Morethanfootball Action week for 2017 and looking to create a bigger impact in 2018. This allowed our Development Manager, Brian McLaughlin, to work closely with colleagues from PSG, PSV, Links Park (Montrose) and Rangers Charity Foundation – this is a great opportunity to showcase all the good work happening at Morton in the Community.

The afternoon sessions kicked off with Breakout sessions hosted by Everton, Inter Milan and Vitesse. Everton was the workshop of choice for Development Manager, Brian McLaughlin, this session showed the power football holds in the heartbeat of communities and how its more than 3pm on a Saturday afternoon.

Finally day 1 finished with the opportunity to visit Benfica’s kids fun education programme similar to our SFA School of Football programme which looks at intervention and prevention of engagement levels of school pupils using football to enhance learning.

Day 2 – Wednesday 22nd April 2017

The second day of the conference gave all the delegates the opportunity to visit and participate in the European Legends programme which is delivered throughout Europe aimed at social inclusion  and Walking Football. The oldest player, a woman aged 83 who had never played football before, couldn’t speak highly about the programme especially the health and social benefits for all participants. The session concluded with a friendly match between a European select (attendees of the conference) vs Benfica’s Walking Footballers. A game played in the correct manner which finished in a 0-0 draw but plenty of laughs and friendship’s made throughout.

The conference concluded with sessions from KAA Gent, AC Milan and Inter Milan showcasing the amazing work they deliver within their communities and internationally.

The main theme for the conference was #Morethanfootball, for more information and to see the amazing work delivered throughout Europe please watch the following video –


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