Upon their arrival to Lyon, Festival 16 delegations from around the world took part in a cultural and learning exchange programme that enabled them to explore the cultural diversity of Lyon and learn skills from other approaches to football for good. The programme included integration activities, training in football3, excursions in Lyon and an exchange programme with French youth, as well as a number of special events to help them make the most of their time in Lyon.


The delegation programme had three main objectives:


  • Enable participants to exchange with other young people from around the world using football to inspire social change, learning from their experiences and adopting their approaches
  • Provide participants an insight into French culture and life in Lyon, the host city of the festival
  • Demonstrate to the world the integrative power of football by forming strong bonds of friendship amongst participants from many different countries and diverse background



Following the arrival of all delegations on Friday July 1st, the festival officially began with the Festival 16 welcome event. The evening included a special freestyle football performance, a personal welcome from the organisers and streetfootballworld ambassadors Juan Mata and Megan Rapinoe, and an introduction to the programme, as well as a special mention of all the organisations present at Festival 16. The big surprise of the event was the official song and dance of Festival 16, performed by young leaders and organisers for all the participants. The event concluded with more than 400 participants learning the dance and singing along.






On the morning of Saturday July 2nd the participants took part in the Festival 16 games, where the mixed teams that would take part in the football3 tournament were created. Mixed teams included participants from three to four different countries and an equal number of males and females.


Emphasis was placed on encouraging interaction, cooperation and fun for the young participants, who had to overcome language barriers to communicate with their new teammates. This was key in building their confidence before their debut in the football3 tournament. Each mixed team had the dedicated support of one delegation leader during the games and the tournament.



Participants took part in a football3 session conducted by young leaders and football3 experts that focused on imparting the values of football3 as well as explaining and practising the football3 methodology of the festival tournament. This ensured that all participants fully understood the methodology and committed to the three main values of football3 promoted at Festival 16: fairplay, equality and celebration.


During the first part of the session, the participants were split into three groups and rotated through three workshop stations corresponding to the values of fair play, equality and celebration. For the second part of the session participants were split into their tournament teams to put football3 into practice



The delegations participated in a number of football good workshops conducted by some of the delegations leaders present at the festival. The Football for Good workshops featured best practice examples of using football as a tool for development, with themes such as social inclusion, HIV/AIDS prevention, children’s rights, gender equality, life skills, youth leadership and disabilities.



In addition to learning about football for good, participants had also an introduction to an artistic side of football in a freestyle football session delivered by members of the World Freestyle Football Federation.





On July 4th, the delegations played football with French youth on pitches across the region of Rhône-Alpes. Participants were divided in nine groups, each group playing in a different neighbourhood where Sport dans la Ville runs its programmes. Teams were formed by four French players and four players coming from another country, creating binational teams.The events hosted around Lyon attracted not only young people, but also their families, who were eager to join the multicultural gathering and learn more about the countries and cultures present at Festival 16. Local authorities were also in attendance to show their support.The community engagement programme was possible thanks to the support of the French Foreign Ministry.