Devon & Marlou’s story

“I started off with judo, then did some wheelchair basketball and now I’m really enjoying football.”

Devon is 7 years old and lives in Purmerend. He was born prematurely and has cerebral palsy as a result of this. Devon therefore uses a wheelchair and is also able to walk short distances with the aid of some crutches. After lots of physiotherapy, major surgery and a long period of rehabilitation, Devon is now doing very well. He spends a great deal of his time playing sports at Only Friends (a sports club for children with a disability) and absolutely loves it there. Sport is a real outlet for him, he is incredibly driven and prefers to win all the time. But he also has an excellent sporting attitude and will always thank his opponent for a great game if he loses.

Paralympic champion Marlou van Rhijn

Devon met the paralympic champion and Cruyff Foundation ambassador Marlou van Rhijn at the Only Friends sports centre. This was quite an extraordinary meeting, during which it became abundantly clear how important it is for all children to be able to develop themselves and build self-confidence through sport.

A safe space to play sports and games is incredibly important for all children. Space for them to develop, space to make friends and space where they can improve both their physical and mental health. This unfortunately doesn’t happen as a matter of course for all children. And these are the children for whom the Cruyff Foundation supports and develops sports activities right across the world.

For example, we have Cruyff Courts in deprived areas, we train Cruyff Foundation coaches (Heroes), we support countless projects for children with disabilities and we stimulate sport for refugees through projects in refugee camps or asylum seekers’ centres. You’ll be supporting these activities by raising money for the 14K Cruyff Legacy.

Curious about Xavi and Soliana’s stories? Then read them below.