European Partners Exchange on Soft Skills Development

The first of nine exchanges for the Homeless World Cup Erasmus+ Project took place in September in the city of Beja, Portugal. The three-day event brought together delegates from Portugal, Germany, Italy, and England to discuss different approaches and good practice to impart life skills development within a street football programme.

The Beja exchange was back-dropped by the Annual National Street Football Tournament, organised by Futbol de Rua, Homeless World Cup National Partner in Portugal. Day one of the exchange allowed delegates to enjoy the opening parade and first match of the tournament.

During the second day of the exchange, delegates had an opportunity to talk about their different programmes, and share knowledge about the best ways of imparting soft skills to their participants. Day two comprised of a morning session, aimed at narrowing down a general overview and understanding of what Soft Skills development looks like in practice; and an evening session which focused on the methodology, exploring more in depth curricula, external resources, and training and delivering methods.

Day three began with a discussion about the importance of motivation when engaging first time participants, and even more importantly, how to keep them motivated to become returning participants.The group then went on to discussing the ways in which soft skills such as awareness, control, and communication, can be successfully imparted and how to measure and monitor that success.

The Beja exchange is the first of three exchanges in 2016 that will cover the broad theme of Player Development. The upcoming exchanges will explore the topics of Empowerment, during the exchange in Gothenburg in October, and Progression Pathways, which will be covered in the exchange in Amsterdam this coming November. The 2017 exchanges will cover the theme of communication, while the 2018 exchanges will focus on programme sustainability.