24 years ago, in 1977, the dream of Johan Cruyff, one of the greatest footballers of all time, came true. With the establishment of the Johan Cruyff Foundation, he was able to connect sport and children. That dream started in America, where Johan had a young neighbour with Down's syndrome. He did not play with the other children in the street because he was not included in the group. Johan made contact with him in a playful way, gained his trust, and the boy’s social skills increased more and more. One day, he simply joined in with the other children and glowed with happiness.
For Johan, the power of sport was proven. Through sports, children with and without disabilities learn to discover their talents and gain self-confidence, which contributes to their development within society. In 2016, the world unfortunately lost Johan, but we still live his vision every day.
Johan Cruyff Foundation
The Johan Cruyff Foundation supports and develops sports activities for children all over the world. We focus on vulnerable children. With our sports projects for children with a disability, our Cruyff Courts and our Schoolyards14, we create space for these children.
Space to develop, space to make friends and space to improve their physical and mental health.
Space to get the best out of yourself.
Sport and play are especially important for children with disabilities. Not only in terms of their health, but also to meet others and gain self-confidence. Unfortunately, it is not always easy for them to participate in a sport, because there are few facilities and the equipment required is often expensive. Through a variety of partnerships, the Cruyff Foundation is working to increase the range of available sports and make them more accessible, so that children with a disability also get the space to discover their talents.
Children need safe play areas that invite them to play outside. This is where the Cruyff Courts come into play: safe places where children learn about the importance of solidarity, forge friendships, discover their own talents, and experience winning and losing. Valuable experiences that they take with them as they develop physically and mentally, but also as they move into society.
Alongside the Cruyff Courts in the community, the Cruyff Foundation also sets up Cruyff Courts at institutions for children with disabilities. Special Cruyff Courts are adapted to the needs of these children, for example by using a different surface, adaptations to the ground, or adapted sport attributes.
"Playing outdoors should be a subject at school,'' Johan Cruyff once said. The Cruyff Foundation came up with a relatively simple solution. Schoolyard14 makes schoolyards an attractive place to play again by applying lines and coloured surfaces to the ground and walls together with the school and its pupils. The Cruyff Foundation gives primary school children in both regular and special education the space to sport and play together during and after school.