Making lasting friendships
Making lasting friendships

The Yellows and members of the centre based in Castellón take part in a number of activities through the Endavant Igualtat initiative

The Villarreal Women first-team squad and coaching staff have spent time at the Jaume I University with users from the Fundación Síndrome de Down de Castellón (The Castellón Down Syndrome Foundation). Laughter and fun reigned at the univeristy as both parties met up once more.

“They see the daily situation that other people have and that not everyone is as lucky as them to be within a team, within a club, to have a concrete wasy of living, that there are a number of different situations, and that they normalize everything. Our girls and the guys from the centre have a great time together,” underlined Sara Monforte, Villarreal Women head coach, talking about the positive aspects of meeting like this.

Yellows captain Lara Marta underlined that: “Actions like these are very positive because we live in a reality on the margin and there are people who have a lot of problems in their daily lives. It makes us aware and be able to integrate other collectives into our daily lives, in our routines and in football.”

The Yellows players carried out a number of activities with members of the Down Castellón centre. “We were divided into three groups, to do Zumba, basketball and football. We got together and they also explained to us what their daily life is like, and we explained ours,” explained the manager.  “In terms of cohesion, it’s very important because you’re not only training, you’re also doing other things together,” underlined Monforte about other benefits for the dressing room.

Villarreal, an example in social responsibility

For Villarreal Women, the activites organised by the club as part of its corporative social responsibility are important. “Personally, I think it is a really good initiative, that makes Villarreal a different club, and it also makes it feel like a family club, and it means that those of use who are part of the club see other people’s realities. For me, being part of Villarreal and taking part in initiatives like this is something I’m proud of,” emphasised Monforte.

Mata also shared a similar view to her manager: “Big companies, like clubs and other businesses are those who need to support initiatives like this to make them more visible. They are needed for awareness. Both them and us mutually benefit, but we also want to give them visibility to the rest of society.”

In November, Villarreal Women carried out their first activity as part of Endavant Igualtat alongside the Fundación Síndrome de Down Castellón. Users of the centre in Castellón visited the PAMESA Cerámica Training Ground (Ciudad Deportivo PAMESA Cerámica) to meet the footballers, with whom, they will share throughout the season many days together.

“We all presented ourselves to each other. They come to the Training Ground to see us train, they were eating with us the other day, and we’ve come to see them. That helps us understand them a bit more,” explains the captain.

Endavant Igualtat

The community initiative organised by Villarreal CF returned after a pause of a year and a half due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The main teams from the Yellows Academy, as well as Villarreal Women, will meet with different centres from the province of Castellón.

The project, with a charity aim, is aimed at educating youth players, as well as helping their personal development, while also having the objective of helping the users of the centres in terms of their own personal development, and with a sensitivity appropriate to the needs and difficulties of others, as well as sharing experiences. The exchange of values drives and favours the growth of both parties.

The initiative consists of carrying out activities alongside each other throughout the season, with regular meetings both in the charity centres, as well as at Villarreal CF’s facilities. As much as possible, the members of the centres go to games to cheer on their teams at the Training Ground.

The centres that will take part in the distinct Endavant Igualtat activities this season are: Asociación de Familiares de Personas con Alzheimer, CPEE La Panderola, Down Castellón, CAU, Aspropace, CRIS La Vall, AUPA, Consorcio de Bomberos and Villarreal’s intellectual disability team.