Updated: Apr 13, 2021
What football fever has to do with health care...
The Moroccan national football team was the first African team to qualify for the World Cup. That was in 1970. Since then, the Lions of Atlas have qualified five times. Therefore, it is safe to say that football is the most popular sport in Morocco. And that's why it's a must at our school in the Berber village of Douar Anzal when it's time for sports lessons!
How it all began: In 2016, sports therapist Marcus Lehman cycled from Berlin to Morocco, collecting donations for the children of our school along the way. His goals: the construction of a sports field and the integration of sports lessons into the curriculum. But Marcus has even more in his luggage: in addition to lots of good humour and ideas for fun in sports, he is also bringing the children sports equipment and clothing.
One thing is for sure: in the jerseys with badges of well-known teams like the French first division team Paris St. Germain, the proud children feel like the football stars of tomorrow. Motivation enough to integrate sport into their everyday lives.
Since Marcus' visit, school sport has become a fixed part of the teaching programme. This is a big concern for us, because we are not only concerned with education, but also with health care - in addition to integrating sports into the lessons, we also deal with topics such as dental hygiene, nutrition counselling and COVID-19 prevention.
By the way, women are becoming more and more important in Moroccan football. Football therefore also contributes to deepening awareness and tolerance for women's empowerment and gender equality. For example, there is already a women's football symposium organised by the Confederation of African Football in Marrakech. It aims to develop women's football on the continent and is supported by high-profile players and FIFA representatives. And the Moroccan women's national team is inspiring a young generation of girls in Morocco.