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RBFA Invests In 40 Neighbourhood Football Squares

May 18 2022 - News Release News Editorial

Today in Lier, we unveiled the first of some forty Belgian Red Courts. In this social project, with the support of Proximus and thanks to the players of the National Lottery, old football pitches are transformed into modern mini-football temples that bring young and old together.

RBFA Invests In 40 Neighbourhood Football Squares
"In Sint-Niklaas and Waregem the works are planned for the near future and we are in the final planning stages with about ten cities and municipalities to build a Belgian Red Court on their territory in 2022," Peter Bossaert, CEO, RBFA

On the occasion of our 125th anniversary, we announced the arrival of about forty Belgian Red Courts in the autumn of 2020. The pandemic caused some delay, but today the first Belgian Red Court in Lier was festively inaugurated and, in the coming days and weeks, work will also start in Sint-Niklaas and Waregem. There, the first outdated sports squares will be transformed into modern mini-football temples where people of all ages can show off their football skills, and the aim is to complete the work at three other locations before the start of the construction holidays.

“The Belgian Red Courts project is very close to our hearts because this is how football really helps shape tomorrow's society and we are delighted to be able to roll this out with several local authorities. Everyone will be welcome to kick a ball around or support it, and we strongly believe that the Belgian Red Courts will bring people from different backgrounds together. The cities and towns where the pitches will be set up are also very keen to work with us to train Court Coaches, the local youth associations, schools, football clubs and welfare organisations to set up activities that will further enhance the social cohesion in their town, while promoting football.” Robin Cnops, RBFA Football Social Responsibility Coordinator

ENCOURAGING LOCAL CONNECTION

In order to support the Belgian Red Court coaches and the local managers of the Belgian Red Courts to develop various football initiatives, adidas, as our sponsor of the national football teams, will provide the necessary training material for each of the 40 new football hotspots. The city of Lier is also ready to support.

“Lier is particularly proud that we have the scoop on this wonderful project. Our great thanks to all partners! With Jan Ceulemans we have, of course, a wonderful ambassador. "De Caje" is one of the greatest footballers our country has ever known, but he just started kicking a ball around our little Lierse squares. Today, a new generation of Caje's can arise here on the sports fields. But in “Lierke Plezierke”, the pleasure of playing football with friends comes first, of course!” Rik Verwaest, Mayor of Lier

AMBASSADORS

At the moment, more than ten additional Belgian Red Courts – spread across the whole country – are in the final planning phase to be started up before the end of this year. Also for 2023 and 2024, discussions are ongoing with several interested cities and municipalities in order to realise the ambition of some forty Belgian Red Courts. Each of the Belgian Red Courts will also have an ambassador such as a Red Devil, a Red Flame or an icon from Belgian football history. In addition, in the course of next year we will organise the first Belgian Red Courts Cup, a national tournament with youth football, girls’ football, G-football, walking football and a final at the Proximus Basecamp in Tubize.

“I am very pleased that as a loyal partner of the RBFA we can support this project, by providing all Belgian Red Courts with free Wi-Fi hotspots, in line with our ambition to make the digital society accessible to everyone. Thanks to the Belgian Red Courts, young people can fully experience and share their passion for football. By participating, we are putting our technology and strong networks at the service of society and we want to contribute to a stronger social fabric in cities and towns across the country.” Jim Casteele, Consumer Market Lead at Proximus

Our organisation and the cities and municipalities involved can count on the support of two loyal partners of Belgian football, the players of the National Lottery and Proximus, for the realisation of these social football fields.

“The need for accessible locations where young people, and by extension every sports enthusiast, can play outdoor sports is felt every day. It is therefore with pride that the National Lottery, thanks to its players, makes the realisation of the Red Courts football fields in our country possible. Lots of fun for everyone!” Jannie Haeck, CEO of the National Lottery

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