On June 7, 2021, the first edition of the ‘Future Leaders in Football’ (FLF) Camp got underway, for the future leaders in the management of the global game. Participants from 15 different countries are taking part in the 5-day digital training course and are enjoying an intensive programme with industry-leading guests.
Diversity, inclusion, and sustainability are key focuses for the 22 young football leaders who are participating in an exciting and varied leadership development programme that is taking place against the backdrop of UEFA EURO 2020. Due to the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the camp is not taking place in Munich as planned, but virtually instead. The camp is hosted by the German Football Association (DFB) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Partnership support is also provided by the Scort Foundation and Streetfootballworld.
For Deputy Secretary General Heike Ullrich, the FLF Camp is a groundbreaking step for future leaders within the global game: “With the Future Leaders in Football Camp, the DFB is delighted to be hosting an international leadership camp for the first time together with our partner, the BMZ. Young leaders from all over the world will have the opportunity to exchange ideas on important topics such as diversity, inclusion, empowerment, and sustainability. It is a great pleasure to experience how this group of 22 young men and women are leading the way and showing how diverse the future of football is and will be.”
The FLF Camp is being implemented for the first time as a pilot project with financial support from the UEFA Assist programme. The camp is intended to become a flagship project for leadership training in the future. Accordingly, the establishment of the format in the long term is planned with a view towards UEFA EURO 2024. Two experienced experts in the field of leadership, Anja Zivcovic and Dr. Jaqueline Müller, have been engaged to host the event.
Anja Zivcovic was awarded the title of German Football Ambassador in 2020. The social pedagogy graduate and holder of the UEFA A Licence in coaching has overseen projects promoting the involvement of women and girls in football in more than 50 countries. “I have travelled to almost every corner of the earth and I love feeling the passion that local people have in these projects. The FLF Camp should have brought young people from around the globe to Munich as part of UEFA EURO 2020. I’m thrilled at the energy that this colourful group spread across four continents are bringing to the camp. The digital space has been able to bridge the great distances between us and has confirmed that the group dynamic has brought us close together.”
Dr. Jacqueline Müller found her true passion through teaching students. She completed her PhD at Loughborough University London on the topic of ‘Implicit Leadership Theories’. “The participants of the FLF Camp give us all hope that the future of football is in good hands and that issues like diversity, inclusion, and sustainability will be high on the agenda as we move forward.”
Skilfully guided by the distinguished hosts, the participants will be offered a varied programme at the camp. Workshops, round-table discussions, and small group work will encourage intensive exchange of ideas and the discussion of various issues, some of which may be controversial. Each day of the camp will focus on a different topic, ranging from the definitions of leadership to the complexity of self-perception and perception by others, along with concrete problem-solving exercises that require solutions.
The programme of events will be rounded off by a series of lectures by renowned experts from the world of football. Among others, Karl Lines (FIFA Leadership Expert and business psychologist at Likos People Development), Honey Thalijeh (FIFA Corporate Communications), Mirjam Lapp (DFB – Leaders League), and Anna Strugovshchikova (DFB – EURO Sustainability Expert) will speak on the topic of leadership. These lectures will provide those taking part with numerous insights and practical examples relevant to the course.
The composition of the group of participants is remarkable in its diversity. Those taking part hail from 15 countries, including Ecuador, Rwanda, Lebanon and Germany. Among the 22 participants are 12 women, with the colourful composition of the group reflecting the spirit of the FLF Camp.
The DFB would like to wish all participants a successful future in their further education and training and is already looking forward to the next edition of the event.