Villarreal CF shows its solidarity by collaborating economically and socially with numerous Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO), institutions, foundations, associations and centres -mainly from Castellón and the Valencian region- such as ‘Fundación Roig Alfonso’, ‘Fundación Trinidad Alfonso’, ‘ASPANION’, ‘Cáritas’, ‘La Panderola’, ‘Afanías’, ‘Okikobo’ and ‘Fundación Síndrome de Down’, among many others. The act of solidarity that stood out most from last season was, without a doubt, ‘Unidos por la Esperanza’ (United for Hope); a project promoted by the ‘Celtic Submarí’ Fan Club with all funds raised going to finance a line of investigation to improve the quality of life of young cancer survivors.
The Yellows Reserve and Academy teams have taken a step forward adding to yet another act of solidarity by Villarreal CF. To do this, the club set in motion the ‘Endavant Igualtat’ initiative, the first of its kind in Spain. This initiative involves the collaboration of each 11-a-side Reserve and Academy team with a special centre (for disabilities) from the Castellón province, whom they sponsor throughout the course of the season.
The Psychology and Methodology Department of the club have committed to this initiative for the benefit of the Academy players’ education and personal development. It wants to form people with good values and appropriate social sensitivity to the needs and difficulties of others.
Thus, the young players from the Reserve and Academy teams help the members of the centres and share experiences with them, and this exchange of values also helps the players to grow.
Through this initiative, Villarreal CF gives out tickets, which vary according to the match, to different Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Each association or foundation can sell the tickets through their own local channels and receive the full amount for each sale. In this way, the club benefits by receiving greater attendances at matches and each association or foundation can raise money for their own finances or to start different projects.
With the clear objective of integrating all Yellows, regardless of their condition, Villarreal CF started up the ‘Escuela de Discapacitados Intelectuales’ (EDI) (Intellectually Disabled School) project in the 2015/16 season. It consists of a team fully formed by disabled players from special centres such as the ‘Centro Ocupacional’ and ‘La Panderola’ from Vila-real and serves as a relaxing, sporting and fun activity, in which they are also given an identity by defending the club’s colours.
The EDI team participated in the Special Olympics played in June 2015 and 2016, they train twice a week at the Villarreal CF Training Ground and they are completely integrated in the Yellows Reserves and Academy set up.
Unified Football is a sport that was born within the Special Olympics and is becoming more and more widespread, now played in countries all over the world. Its objective is to form teams of players with and without intellectual disabilities so they can share values and norms with each other. For this reason, there are regulations to ensure players are honest throughout the competition, among many other technical rules.
In 2015, Villarreal CF started to collaborate with ‘Conquistando Escalones’ (Conquering Steps). This collaboration consists of the club providing the association with all the media resources available to help them raise the maximum amount of money possible, subsequently helping them to achieve their objective of financing different methods of research to find a cure.
Conquistando Escalones is an association founded by people affected by Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy (LGMD-1F). In various investigations it has been discovered that the protein affected in the said disease is the same as that which reproduces HIV, with the result being that the mutation of this gene makes them immune to AIDS. For this reason, finding the cure for this muscular disease could also mean the end of HIV.
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