Fortum Tutor programme has been chosen as UEFA's Best Grassroots Project in Europe. UEFA, the Union of European Football Associations, handed the UEFA Grassroots award to Fortum Tutor programme on Wednesday 15 May 2012.
Fortum Tutor is a national programme launched in 2009 in partnership with the Football Association of Finland to develop the skills of coaches of junior football teams. The goal is to ensure that children have an inspiring and competent coach. The programme has an impact on more than 20,000 children and their families around Finland.
Altogether 100 football coaching experts have been selected as tutors – mentoring over 2,000 junior coaches yearly. The coaches receive concrete 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 5 to 11 years old. Children under 12 are at the most susceptible age in terms of learning the fundamentals of the sport, and therefore need an inspiring coach to support them.
Investment for the well-being of children
Anne Brunila, Fortum´s Executive Vice President of Corporate Relations and Strategy, says that it is valuable to support hobbies that help children to develop their social skills and sense of togetherness.
"A good hobby carries throughout the whole life and decreases the risk of displacement. A skilful and motivating coach has a key role in the continuation of the child's hobby ", Brunila reminds.
Brunila also says that Fortum Tutor is a good example of a sponsorship programme where
both a corporation and a national association devote to the future together – on children, young people.
Fortum Tutor has become a Finnish export product
Also in The Football Association of Finland the Grassroots award has been received proudly.
"This is a remarkable recognition for the whole grass roots work in our football clubs. The award shows that we are Europe´s elite on this field ", praises the President of The Football Association of Finland Kimmo J. Lipponen.
Lipponen says that Fortum Tutor has become a Finnish export product, which has raised large interest in Europe since it was started.
UEFA Grassroots Day was also celebrated in all 53 UEFA member associations as part of festivities of Champions League Finals on May 19, 2012. The aim of Grassroots Day is to recognise outstanding achievements in grassroots football.