LaLiga´s corporate social responsibility initiative, LaLiga Genuine, could set a new standard for inclusivity in football if it were adopted more widely by other clubs and leagues.
That was the message delivered by Elena Montoro, part of the international team of the LaLiga Foundation, at a recent conference held by the European Football for Development Network (EFDN).
The initiative, implemented by the LaLiga Foundation, provides a competitive league for boy and girl players under the age of 16, with an intellectual disability to a degree of 33% or more. It is the first and only football initiative that aims to normalise the participation in sport of those with intellectual disabilities.
Among the long-term objectives of LaLiga Genuine is to use football as a tool for social development, seeking out those who organise the game at international, national or local community levels, helping disadvantaged youths and adults across Europe.
The conference, which was attended by the world´s leading football clubs, provided a platform to exchange information about various community programmes, and to share thoughts on positive and successful experiences that could be adopted internationally.
During her appearance, Elena Montoro explained how LaLiga Genuine operates, its main aims, and elaborated on other projects and programmes from the Foundation which aim to promote social commitment and inclusiveness.
LaLiga Genuine began in Spain last November, and following its success has expanded from 18 LaLiga teams to 30. In its last season, 600 volunteers and 462 registered players combined to create a season of 216 matches, with Espanyol the eventual winners.
The next phase of this season´s competition will be played in Córdoba between 18 and 20 January.