Hattrick Project – Rationale

It is one of the main concerns within the EU, to improve the integration of people with a migrational background in educational systems, the labour market and society at large.

Migrants tend to be significantly lower educated than the average population, much more often affected by unemployment and excluded from many social activities.
Young male migrants in particular are at risk of becoming early school leavers and/or unemployed. As a result these young people are often at risk of social exclusion. The Hattrick project: Football-Learning-Integration utilizes the potential of sports activities – especially football – as an instrument to minimise these risks.

Hattrick seeks to engage socially disadvantaged young men – especially young male migrants – in educational activities by reaching them in the football clubs.

Football clubs are explored as possible new places of learning through a two fold training strategy:

  1. Hattrick develops and tests “FootbaLLL” (Football and Lifelong Learning) workshopsfor 15-25 year old migrant football players, where social and intercultural skills are developed.
  2. It enables football trainersto support their players in the process of integration into LifeLong Learning and at the same time to increase the team performance. To enhance their social and intercultural competences a training programme called “FootbaLLL Coach” will be developed.

LLL means lifelong learning.



The main target groups of the Hattrick project are:

  • Young male migrants / young men with a migrational background
  • Young male adults who are socio-economically disadvantaged with a low level of education or a risk of exclusion
    all aged 15-25 years and involved in a  football club
  • Football coaches working with this target group

The close cooperation with football clubs throughout the project ensures the practical orientation in the project. The development of training and training materials is directly related to the needs of the football players and their coaches and will be tested at the football clubs.

Hattrick aims to

  • Systematically expand transversal competences acquired in football – needed in professional life
  • Open a new informal pathway to education by exploring football clubs as new places of learning
  • Engage disadvantaged young men in lifelong learning activities
  • Better integrate the young men into society



The main activities of the Hattrick project taking place between December 2009 and November 2011 are:

  • Conducting a needs analysisin the football clubs to find out the educational needs of the players and coaches.
  • On the basis of the results of the needs analysis a training programme for young migrant footballerswill be developed by the project partners. In addition to this, a training programme especially for football coaches will be developed as well as training materials
  • Both training programmes will be tested in the football clubs for a 6-month piloting phase in the project partner countries(Austria, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Bulgaria, France, and the United Kingdom).
  • The results of the piloting of the programmes for migrant footballers and their coaches will be gathered for the finalisation of the training design and the training materials
  • The project will be presented at diverse European dissemination conferences



Training programme & materials for young migrant footballers

FootbaLLL (Football and Lifelong learning) workshop including training materials will be developed. The learning workshops aim at making visible and further developing transversal skills needed to successfully playing football. The tool kit for adult educators is a compilation of exercises, interventions, role plays and reflection stimuli related to the football training content.


Training programme & materials for football trainers

FootbaLLL Coach course, including training materials will be developed. The materials are a compilation of methodologies which stimulates the football trainer’s reflections of their own sport and education practice. Social and intercultural skills are also developed to better equip trainers in supporting their players in the process of integration.


Hattrick Good Practice Brochure

Both training programmes – “FootbaLLL Workshop” and “FootbaLLL Coach” will be piloted in the 7 partner countries. The results of the piloting phase will be recorded and evaluated. Based on these results, the training programmes will be finalised and a Good practice Brochure will be produced. The Good Practice Brochure seeks to promote lifelong learning activities for young migrants using football as a means of motivation for learning and a door-opener to integration into society. The brochure addresses teachers, managers and multipliers in adult education as well as stakeholders in sports, public authorities and NGOs dealing with integration issues.


Football & Migration

Playing football in a team offers various opportunities of social learning and developing transversal competences – independent from cultural background. Sport can provide a useful function in reinforcing social inclusion. Many young migrant people show enthusiasm in (team) sports, with young men especially keen on football.
The football pitch, however, is one social location where integration seems to be successful in many cases. The activities of the Hattrick project build on to this setting.


Football pitch as place of learning

How can young male adults, who are socio-economically disadvantaged, be motivated to be engaged in long life learning activities?

One important requirement is the learning setting. Young people have to trust in their learning environment as well as in their teachers. Apart from this it is important that learning subjects are linked to the personal interests and strengths (Football!) of the young people.

The Hattrick project develops an innovative training approach by opening an informal pathway to education: Football clubs are explored as possible new places of learning. Young male migrants or other young disadvantaged men are engaged in lifelong learning activities by meeting them where they already are with enthusiasm: on the football pitch!


Use of potentials

Being a successful footballer does not only boost the confidence and self-esteem of young migrants: It also involves transversal competences like the motivation of self and others, the capacity to work in teams, etc. These are also key competences for a successful educational and professional career, and for integration into society.

The basic idea of Hattrick is to use the potential which young migrant footballers display on the football pitch for (re-)entering education and vocational training and thus improving their social integration.

Hattrick aims at supporting the development of the following competencies:

  • self-management
  • intercultural & social competences
  • communication skills
  • common values / sportsmanship
  • team spirit, fair play










The project products are also available in the languages of the partner countries. Please ask for them by contacting us.



Football Against Racism in Europe www.farenet.org

Let´s kick Racism out of Football www.kickitout.org

Football unites Racism divides www.furd.org

UN office on Sport for Development and Peace www.un.org/sport



die Berater®




Centrum voor Europese Studies en Opleidingen








Doncaster College
United Kingdom



Doncaster Rovers Football Club
Keepmoat Stadium
Stadium Way
South Yorkshire



Holger Bienzle

Head bridges to europe

„die Berater“
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Tel.: +43 1 532 45 45-0
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E-Mail: office@dieberater.com


This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.