Kick4Life F.C. launches as football club dedicated to social change
We are excited to announce that Kick4Life is re-positioning to become the world's first football club, exclusively dedicated to social change, enabling us to more effectively leverage the power and influence of the football industry, by becoming a part of it.
When we first created a football team for our participants to achieve their potential on the pitch back in 2009 we kept quiet about it so as not to be wrongly perceived as a talent-based project. Yet over the last few years, and with last season’s promotion to the Premier League for our men’s team, we have seen the great potential that an elite team has for expanding our social mission, including increased interest and awareness in the local community, opportunities for sustainable income and the potency of the players as role models.
What does this change mean?
There is a growing trend for charities to become more financially independent and be less reliant on donations and grants, These are of course still an important parts of a diverse finding mix, but in the last few years at Kick4Life we have initiated a number of social enterprises – businesses which generate a profit which is pumped back into social development. In addition, these businesses – including a restaurant and a conference centre – provide training and employment opportunities for young people coming through our programs.
We are now planning to put all of our core charity programs and social businesses (including our football teams) under the umbrella of Kick4Life F.C. to create a new type of organisation. There are many football clubs that have charity foundations, and charities that have football teams attached to them but nothing that has fully combined the two.
We will of course remain a charity and our social businesses will continue to be fully owned by the charity, but we will be operating as Kick4Life F.C. – a football club exclusively focused on social change – with success on the pitch enabling us to achieve greater social impact, interest and awareness of it.
Over the last few months we have conducted an external consultation of this proposal among partner organisations including grant funders, corporations and Sport for Development bodies, and the response has been very positive.
It is very important to note that our men's and women's teams will need to continue as self-sustainable entities within Kick4Life. We will not be taking money from our core programs or from our fundraising to invest in the teams. Instead, as the diagram shows, funds will go the other way, with the football teams generating income to invest in the wider organisation.
We are pioneering a new way of doing things that takes Sport for Development from the fringes of the sports industry to being a part of it. We believe this will enable us and other organisations to achieve greater social impact in the communities in which we work. Thanks for your support in helping us make this a success, and helping to change the lives and prospects of more young people in Lesotho.