Goya Foods, the largest Hispanic owned food company, sponsored FC Barcelona and celebrated the success of the league’s 9-month soccer program with over 350 students from four participating Queens middle schools at the FutbolNet NYC Soccer Festival in Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
Throughout the school year, students participated in a variety of soccer drills and exercises designed to enhance communication and teamwork skills, strengthen academic performance, develop conflict-resolution and problem-solving techniques, and promote respect and trust among students. The program used the FutbolNet methodology founded by Barça Foundation that uses soccer as a tool to help students develop and strengthen their physical, social, and emotional skills. This Methodology transmits the values of the Club through sports, including Humility, Effort, Ambition, Respect, and Teamwork.
"Through the Goya Gives initiative, we are committed to supporting and promoting the overall well-being of our communities, especially our youth. The popularity of soccer has grown immensely in the United States. It is a multicultural sport that is watched and played by millions of people and families from around the world. We see this as a great opportunity to help bring people together through the love and passion of a sport, while also promoting the importance of healthy eating and exercise of our children and families," said Joe Perez, Senior Vice President of Goya Foods.
With the support of Goya Foods, the entire cost of the project was covered by all schools and students. The four participating Queens, NY middle schools included, IS 5 The Walter Crowley Intermediate School, IS 61 Leonardo da Vinci, Q277 The Riverview School, and Hunters Point Campus.
“Over the last nine months, we’ve seen a steady shift in the behavior and overall well-being of many of the students who participated in the program,” said Jordi Cardoner, Vice President of FC Barcelona and Barça Foundation. “The students socialize really well together now. It was also nice to see the boys and girls interacting with one another, showing respect and teamwork. FutbolNet is a program we hope to roll-out nationwide, as we have in many other countries.”
FutbolNet currently serves more than 450,000 youth ages eight to 16 in over 54 different countries around the world and this marks the program’s first US initiative.