Persian sport club
Sport has always been a means for going beyond cultural and racial differences and bringing together people regardless of their geographical, racial, social and, above all, language and cultural barriers, so that people can experience co-existing in peace and harmony in the framework of an athletic event.
In an effort to satisfy its goal of supporting the kids and teenagers of deprived neighborhoods across the country and to reduce social damage and harm, in addition to improving their social and cultural identity, Imam Ali Popular Students Relief Society established the Persian sports club in 2006. This club includes different sports such as soccer, track and fields, volleyball, swimming, wrestling, Karate and etc. More than 1500 kids from remote and deprived areas of Iran have been involved in the different sports teams available and have been under the club’s support and coverage. The Persian club is the first professional cultural sports club specifically for child laborers. Most of the players in the Persian soccer club are child laborers, children deprived from education or other deprived children who are under the coverage of Imam Ali Society. Additionally, all technical staff of the teams are students or graduate volunteers of Imam Ali Society.
The purpose of establishing football teams in marginalized neighborhoods
After spending years in marginalized neighborhoods, IAPSRS decided to introduce a special program to turn these neighborhoods from a high-risk environment to a safe place for residents and children living there.
Therefore, IAPSRS has established a comprehensive program aimed for organizing educational, cultural, sports, and sanitary activities in these neighborhoods. The idea was to develop educational and cultural skills of children and their families to positively influence their living situation.
Meanwhile, given the importance of sports activities for children and young people, especially in the marginalized areas (where they struggle with various problem such as addiction, poverty, delinquency and etc.), sport teams were founded to create a positive environment, motivate children, and help them develop a strong self-identity via the attention they get in playing football.
In addition, equal access to sports facilities is one of the children’s rights, so Persian sports teams are trying to help children pursue this right by organizing football training sessions.
Therefore, along with football skills, trainers help children develop interests in sports, improve their social skills, learn sports ethics and teamwork, and finally help those children who have left addiction.
- Creating a positive identity and role models through the presence of children and youth in the sports teams.
- Increasing motivation and life expectancy among children from marginalized areas, through participating and competing at sports events.
- Increasing public awareness on social problems and their impacts on children and youth, and emphasizing how the sports initiatives would decrease and prevent such problems.
- Building a practical and effective model for the sports organizations and relevant authorities and emphasizing their social responsibility.
- Highlighting the ethical values and athletic themes in the sport community through the promotion and development of respect, tolerance, and altruism.
- Establishing peace and friendship among different ethnic communities by introducing a sport teams model, which includes children from diverse ethnicities.
- Highlighting the key role of sports in reducing violence, stress, and depression caused by difficult living conditions and overcoming moral and cultural anomalies in marginalized areas.
- Achieving a world in which sport is a powerful tool for promoting peace, reconciliation of humans, and equal rights in sports for all children.
- Development of sports with the goal of establishing peace and friendship between different ethnicities and races, as well as reducing and preventing social harm, especially among children through changing their cultural and social role models.
- Establishing sports teams in different disciplines in marginalized neighborhoods based on talents, physical potential, and cultural conditions of children and youth.
- Creating a platform to identify, prosper, and enhance outstanding talents in marginalized neighborhoods.
- Establishing selected sports teams in different disciplines from talented members of Persian teams in marginalized neighborhoods around the country.
- Organizing sports leagues and tournaments around the country and abroad.
- Inviting experts, students and sports graduates to define projects for sports promotion and social development in the marginalized neighborhoods that have high risk of violence.