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The Barclays Community Football Fund Opens Doors to Skills That Last a Lifetime


Campaign by Dan French for Papaya Films and M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment sees the fund offers grants, training, kit and exclusive ticketing offers to make football more accessible in communities across the UK

The Barclays Community Football Fund Opens Doors to Skills That Last a Lifetime

Barclays has today opened up the Barclays Community Football Fund to the public, as part of its commitment to make football more accessible and growing participation at every level across the UK. 

The fund is available for communities and initiatives wishing to start offering football, those keen to expand their existing provision to new audiences or those already delivering football to under-represented young people. 

Supporting the initiative is a campaign that will sit across multiple channels including VOD, OOH, social, radio, digital and PR, focusing on the soft skills that can be developed and learnt through football. 

The campaign, produced by M&C Saatchi Sport and Entertainment, showcases the doors that are opened up to young people by football, with a 30s spot showing a young girl taking confidence from the football pitch into presenting to a school classroom. 

Alongside the grants, the programme will be offering training and resources to 5,500 community groups across the UK, engaging more than 300,000 young people in inclusive  football activities.  

The programme had already opened up to initiatives associated with Sported, the charity that promotes fairness and equity for young people through grassroots sport and physical activity, and will focus on young people from lower socio-economic and under-represented groups: including racially diverse communities, people with disabilities, and people from the LGBTQ+ community. 

Tom Corbett, Barclays group head of sponsorship and media said; “Playing football isn’t just about the skills you learn on the pitch, it’s about the skills that last a lifetime off it. From confidence, to teamwork and leadership, it’s important that all young people have the chance to develop these skills through football. That’s why we have launched the Barclays Community Football Fund, as part of our longstanding commitment to ensuring everyone is given equal access to the beautiful game.” 

Director Dan French said, “I really enjoyed the pre-production process on this one. Creating something that was really heavily boarded and working with an amazing young talent to develop her performance. Working with Siahra, the lead was a real pleasure. She had incredible emotional intelligence and it was great working together to delve into the motivations for her character's nervousness.” 

"The authentic performance captures the anxieties that come with childhood, all those social pressures that sometimes can feel overwhelming. Dan’s direction is one of optimism and determination as we see the young girl transition from a football pitch into a classroom, giving a speech about how confidence can defeat anxieties, as we then cut back to her celebrating with her football team." 

Dan adds, “With the match cuts being so crucial to the story, it was necessary to plan this one down to a tee. I shot the boards first on my iPhone to ensure that all the edit points and match cuts would work. There were still some magic moments on set that were unplanned but worked well. These moments tie together both the football pitch and the classroom and show how football can help with confidence in other areas of our lives.” 


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M&C Saatchi Sport & Entertainment London, Tue, 06 Sep 2022 07:49:57 GMT