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UEFA may have just launched the new logo for Euro 2016, but we’re already way ahead of them. We thought we’d give you an update on our progress with our plans for our next European Legacy Tour. Who better to fill you in than Lionsraw’s founder and CEO Jon Burns…

In April 2013, a few of us went to visit Marseille, one of the host cities for the 2016 UEFA European Championships.

What a great city.

It’s tough – mafiosa style. It’s passionate – Olympique de Marseille is like a religion. Its sunny and by the sea – a perfect Lionsraw tour location; a bit like Newcastle with sunshine!

If you’re anything like me, you probably avoid Irish bars like the plague. But on our first evening we were invited to meet our host’s Antione local football team, at their pub. Balyons is the home of Celtic Marseille, which runs five men’s teams of various abilities, playing in several local leagues. All in the famous green and white hoops.

Olympique de Marseille has a statement on its club badge – ‘Droit au gaol’ -straight to goal. These boys have a nice twist – ‘Droit au pub’ – you work it out!

Over the course of a few days, meeting football clubs, journalists, sports organisations and lots of great local people, we came to a few obvious conclusions.

1. Marseille is the right city for us in 2016.
2. The locals want to run it – find the projects, recruit 100 locals  and make the legacy plan.
3. We should find 100 others from round the world to come and help them.

Come and join us – June 2016, Marseille. ‘European City of Culture 2013’
(and just like Newcastle with sunshine)

To register your interest in joining Lionsraw’s 2016 legacy tour, please email info@lionsraw.org

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Kev Clark, Lionsraw Brasil National Director

It might be an understatement to say the World Cup is important to Brasil and Brasilians. But just how important, is important?

Last year I read the brilliant Futebol; A Brasilian Way of Life by Alex Bellos and felt like I had a gained so much in terms of how this country would be in the build up to the World Cup in June 2014.

I understand the roots of the game in Brasil The white aristocracy in Rio and Sao Paulo claimed it as their sport – a game to mark their status and standing among the city play boys and they were good, very good in fact.

Soon football was being played by servants, in slums and favelas with a new style, the style was Samba style. Suppressed and oppressed for so many generations by the most wealthy in the country, these ‘nobodies’ found a new place in society as they claimed the sport for the masses.

Anyone who was anyone played regardless of race, colour, religion or status (There were problems of course but you need to read the book for that) – today nothing has changed. Football is king, it crosses every social boundary you can think of and unites a country built on immigration in a beautiful way.

Football is important to Brasilians. So much so that they are so worried about a Spanish – or dare I say it an Argentinian – victory next year that they recently brought back their lucky coach – Phil Scolari. Yes, that Phil Scolari.

I can honestly say that in five months of living here in Brasil I haven’t spoken to anyone who believes Brasil are good enough to win the cup next year. Not one single person thinks they can triumph playing at home! A country with football so ingrained on its history and make up and I don’t know anyone who thinks they can win it.

I promise you one thing, they all hope. Every Brasilian man, woman and child will deep down be filled with a surging desire for a World Cup win – because deep down it is what has defined them for the last fifty years of their history, a country defined by football.

How important is football to Brasilians? We can’t imagine because it is who they are and I struggle to fathom that being from England!

On being appointed, Phil Scolari didn’t say that his team couldn’t win the World Cup, he didn’t say they could win the World Cup, he didn’t even say he would be happy with a place in the semis.

He said: “It is my obligation to win this World Cup for Brasil.”

And in a way I feel the same about what we, Lionsraw are trying to achieve here in Curitiba.
With one year to go, it is our obligation to deliver for the benefit of the communities and projects we have committed to.

I’m so excited about that I have goosebumps. Me, Phil, you – all obligated and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

with Passion and Belief
Kev Clark
Lionsraw

Those of you who have been receiving the global newsletter or following our twitter account will have been aware that we were scheduled to take a small team to Sao Paulo to deliver satellite projects during the World Cup in 2014.

These small teams were to deliver sexual health, youth work, self esteem and girls football projects with partners we had identified over the last five months.

This satellite project has become something that our Brasil team have grown increasingly uncomfortable with for a number of reasons as they plan resources, logistics and finances.

All things considered, the global board and our team on the ground in Brasil have reached a decision to move all Lionsraw projects scheduled for Sao Paulo to Curitiba.

This does mean starting again in terms of planning for this specialist group, however we have enough contacts in the city to deliver excellent partner projects who share mission and vision values – ensuring everyone wins and feels value in their commitment.

As and when we have more to say on this we will let you know through our multiple media channels.

The dates listed below indicate the total you should have paid by a date and also the minimum non-refundable deposit required at that particular point.

For example, at the end of April 2013 Team2014 members should have paid at least £800 off their tour. Any new applicants would have to pay £800 as a non-refundable deposit.

April 2013 – Total Paid/Deposit R$2500 (circa $1200/€900/£800)

November 2013 – Total Paid/Deposit R$5000 (circa $2250/€1600/£1500)

April 2014 – Total Paid/Deposit R$7250 for multiple occupancy (circa $3700/€2400/£2250)

(R$8250 circa $4100,€2700,£2550 for double occupancy, R$9250 circa $4590,€3000,£2850 for single occupancy)

At each of the dates above your deposited amount becomes non-refundable. 

These dates are aligned with our major payment dates in respect of the tour and are designed to only take money from you as we need to spend it.

We have some fantastic news to share with you.

Over recent months, the team have been working hard and speaking with various parties. We can now gladly announce that Lionsraw has agreed ongoing partnerships with Middlesbrough FC and FC Dallas.

Lionsraw is delighted to be announced as Major League Soccer side FC Dallas’ sole international ‘charity of choice’. As part of the FC Dallas Foundation, the club will be working in the community with us, running projects together and working closely to provide opportunities for supporters of those clubs in particular to make a difference Home and Away and create Chances For Change.

No time has been wasted. Already, FC Dallas and Lionsraw will be running a Gear Up Project. The project aims to collect kit and football equipment, which will be sent and used in out work in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup.

We have also launched the Twitter handle @LionsrawUSA as a way of following all news and events in the States.

Lionsraw will also be working in partnership with Middlesbrough FC in the community. We are already working in the area with Cleveland Juniors Football Club, and we will endeavour to begin new projects and create Chances for Change at Home and Away.

Keep an eye on our social media sites, @Lionsraw on Twitter and the Lionsraw Facebook page.

These partnerships continue our aim of being a global movement. We are so pleased that so many people around the world are on board with us. It feels like the journey is only just beginning.

www.lionsraw.org

Lionsraw-web

If you’re new to us, check out www.lionsraw.org for more information about who we are and what we do.

In May we formally launch partnerships with FC Dallas and Middlesbrough FC.

To mark these partnerships we are holding a twenty-four hour football marathon, Match for a Day (MFAD), in Dallas. In addition, the third annual MFAD will be held at the London Soccer Dome in June. We are currently exploring dates for a third MFAD to be held in Middlesbrough.

At each MFAD we need a Lionsraw team to play for us, and 24 teams to play against us in one-hour blocks. The Lionsraw squads will have 45 members in Dallas and 30 in London playing throughout the day. Teams made up of businesses, friends and local teams come to pit themselves against the Lionsraw team.

Match for a Day dates:

FC Dallas: 10/11 May
Middlesbrough FC: TBC
London Soccer Dome: 7/8 June

We are asking members of the Lionsraw squad to raise £250 each, and each team to raise a similar amount together, depending on the hour booked.

If you are interested in playing for or against the Lionsraw Match For A Day team at any of the three venues contact Thad Taylor.
thad.taylor@lionsraw.org
07854 750921

Help us spread the word on twitter, use the hashtag #MFADIII

Last year’s MFAD highlights can be viewed here.

MFAD pic

Benjamin Welby – 24 February 2013

I’m in the middle of a perfect moment that seems to have got a little bit out of hand.

It’s not the only perfect moment I’ve known in my life, and I hope it won’t be the last. But when I take my seat at Wembley this afternoon I’ll know that it’s a notch on the timeline of history to savour.

It’s not the only perfect moment in Bradford City’s history. Jimmy Speirs’ winner in the 1911 FA Cup final might have been the first; in 1999 Stuart McCall got so lost in our promotion to the Premiership that he fell off a car; David Wetherall’s header against Liverpool; the saving of the club in the years that followed. Moments of joy.

But that joy is set against the pain of perfect moments turned to nightmare. May 11 1985 changed our club and our community for ever but it started with the delight at our league title. Those men, women and children will be remembered today.

A decade later we had a great day out at Wembley. I wasn’t there to see Des Hamilton and Mark Stallard secure play-off victory against Notts County (who, strangely enough, were our victims in this remarkable cup run). I bet that was a special afternoon.

I’ve never been to Wembley old or new, but today I’m there. And I’m there in all seriousness. It’s not a joke. It’s not for the Paint Pot. It’s not for a playoff. It’s for a proper bit of silverware – this year even Arsene took it seriously.

Today shouldn’t be happening. It defies all logic. It’s common nonsense. It’s absolutely ridiculous. And I get to be there.

I’ll confess to being something of a glory supporter when it comes to this competition – I’m hardly the first person not to take it seriously. But I didn’t go to a game until the 4th round. I chose to listen to the Notts County game at home on the radio; I was on a train from Scotland when we turned 1-0 into 1-2 in the 84th and 94th minutes at Watford; I don’t remember anything about the Burton game so maybe even forgot about it and I sat tensely on my bed watching text updates and Twitter for the Wigan penalties. Perfectly good moments.

No one thought it could get better than that but then we had that freezing night in December when we humbled the Arsenal first team. Being able to put tongue in cheek and sing to one of the greatest managers of the Premier league era that he’d be getting sacked in the morning was pretty special. Leading for 70 minutes was amazing. And then the penalties. What a fairy tale, what a famous night in BD8, what a perfect moment.

But thoughts of going one better were madness. Even when the draw was made and we got my preferred opposition few of us went into the first leg of our semi-final expecting to wake up today with Wembley tickets in our pockets.

Except then came January and putting Aston Villa to the sword. A new perfect moment? Not for me – this time it was different, I wasn’t as giddy as I was on the morning of December 12th as my train passed the Emirates, the chapter was only half complete – now we had something to lose.

We gave ourselves a good chance but a Premier league side should comfortably beat a League Two side 2-0 at home. Benteke’s early goal was just what they needed. Game surely soon to be over. This perfect moment would come gracefully to a close.

But actually nothing had changed – we’d always needed to find a goal. The snow started to fall and as if it were his cue James Hanson, the world’s most famous Co-Op alumni, gave Vlaar the run around to bury that header. At the whistle, I stood as one of thousands who’d dared to dream, scarves aloft and singing the cup finalist’s anthem. We’re the famous Bradford City and we’re going to Wembley.

A new, more perfect moment. But not the last.

As Duke, Darby, McArdle, McHugh, Good, Jones, Doyle, Reid, Hines, Atkinson, Thompson, Wells, Hanson and the rest of a squad assembled for £7,500 go through their pre-match preparations they do so 90 minutes away from European competition.

It’s the biggest game of their careers and they have nothing to lose. Their glory is already assured. Even before they step onto the hallowed turf we know them to be legends. Irrespective of the result they, and we, will remember this competition and their performances with a warm glow for the rest of time.

But the perfectly perfect moment is at 15:59.

Mark and cherish that minute. Consider how lucky we are to be there and remember those Bantams who aren’t. Mark and cherish this once in a lifetime flash that is more myth than reality. In that minute we’re witness to the legend of the 2012/13 League Cup with everything that has gone before, with the atmosphere generated by 90,000 people and pure possibility still in the air.

Notts County, Watford, Burton, Wigan, Arsenal and Villa were outdone by skill, passion and outrageous fortune. We could add a seventh scalp to that list but the likelihood is that we’ll be crowned runners up. If so then that means thousands of Jacks get to celebrate an incredible chapter in their brilliant narrative. It certainly doesn’t mean we’ll find it a bitter pill to swallow or see our dreams crushed.

Sunday February 24th 2013 will forever be etched into sporting folklore. A day for the underdogs. A day invoked for seasons to come. A great day. A day that I’ll always remember for the most perfect of moments: the beautiful possibility laden moment immediately before a ball was kicked when we dared to dream.

And now, deep breath, calm down, there’s only a few hours til kick off. Savour it, enjoy.

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