Together with the local government, schools have been selected for the Life Skills & Clinics in the less socially-developed areas of Amsterdam. In the project, a total of 64 schools were involved in 2015. The Life Skills & Clinics were held four times a week at various schools. In each school, the students were divided intro three different age groups. One clinic consisting of three sessions makes nine sessions per school. In 2015, a total of 2’079 children participated in the clinics. Since then, the project grew from two to four clinics per week, which has doubled our range. After its success, and the refugee issue we could not ignore, Ajax decided to extend the project to asylum centres. We believe that playing sports can help them during this difficult time. It has been shown that exercise promotes physical and mental wellbeing. We provide sports programmes for the refugees twice a week in Amsterdam where they can practice sports, and we provide equipment. The Life Skills & Clinics are organised close to different refugee locations so they do not need to commute. The key success factors of the Life Skills & Clinics project are, firstly, the close cooperation with the schools in Amsterdam, the local government and our partner ABN Amro. ABN Amro provides Ajax with volunteers who we train to be Life Skills & Clinics coaches. Secondly, our custom-made Ajax lessons really help to get the children excited about studying as well as exercising.
Simone Freling, Director of the Foundation