The impetus for the initiative was given by the network "Frauen verbinden" (Women Join) during ISPO MUNICH 2017, which focused on the topic of women in the sports industry. The initiative “Sport verbindet Menschen” (Sport Connects People) invites 50 socially disadvantaged people of all ages to the home and away games of the FC Bayern Munich women’s team. The Bayern Women are the German Champions 2015 and 2016 as well as Champions League participants 2016/17, and thereby the most successful team in Germany during this timeframe.
Children from a local SOS-Kinderdorf are invited to away games. The FC Bayern fan bus collects them, takes them to the stadium and then takes them home again afterwards. On site they get gifts and after the game they can personally meet the women soccer players of FC Bayern and take photos. To the home games not only children and young people are invited to the stadium, but also older people. The participants are selected by the Käfer Foundation.
The initiative has already started and will continue for the further games of the season. The next Bayern home games will take place on April 2, against SC Sand, on April 30, against TSG Hoffenheim, and on May 21, against SGS Essen.
Karin Danner, head of the department of women’s soccer at FC Bayern, is one of the initiators: “Soccer is a popular sport and the language of football reaches many people. Supporting a project such as this is a matter that is very close to our heart. The girls are thrilled, and they themselves beam when they see how they can pass on their emotions to the children.”
“Social responsibility is an important topic for Messe München. It is part of our corporate culture,” said Klaus Dittrich, Chairman of the Board of Messe München GmbH. “The initiative has a lot of potential. Sport is perfect, because it connects all people,” according to Dittrich. In this, the trade fair has won Ilse Aigner, Bavaria’s Minister of Economic Affairs, as the patron of the initiative.
For Clarissa Käfer from the Käfer Foundation, enabling also older people to visit the stadium and meet the football team was a matter close to her heart: “We have the impression that older people are neglected and consider it to be important to also support them and bring them into the stadium.”