Jan plays in an inclusion team of which Marco, his Tandem Partner, is the coach. Even though he loves playing, Jan has always dreamed of becoming a football coach himself. The education has given them a new common goal: together, as a father-son-tandem, they want to create more opportunities for children with disabilities and include them in their football team.


The Tandem Education was established to promote equal opportunities for youth and young adults with a disability to move into football coaching. During the education programme one participant with a disability (Young Coach) links up with one participant without a disability (Tandem Partner) to form a ‘Tandem’.

Marco and Jan were nominated by the DFL Foundation and DFB-Foundation Sepp Herberger and have made incredible progress during the education: from blindly trusting each other for the first time, to preparing and conducting training sessions for children with disabilities, they are now eager to implement what they have learned in their own inclusion-team back home.



Project: Central Europe, May 2019


Parent organisations:
DFB-Stiftung Sepp Herberger

DFL Stiftung

Project Central Europe | Facts
Peer Young Coaches
Benefiting Children


Jan (Young Coach): I play football myself, but here I have learned what it means to be a football coach. A coach has to train a lot too and think about so many things. A coach also has to write many things, which can be exhausting. However, I really enjoyed the training with the children, to demonstrate exercises and see the kids doing them and learning from them. Also, the blind football we did was fun, especially with the glasses.

Marco (Tandem Partner): The session on blind football was great. For the first time, Jan dared to put on one of those simulation glasses that completely took his sight. Interesting for me was, however, to put on the glasses myself and to completely let Jan take over. Thinking about it, this was the very first time to have this constellation, where I literally have to blindly trust Jan and let him take the wheel rather than me being in control.

Jan: I also really liked the training session with the children, mainly because they all had fun. I was able to think and prepare a lot of exercises, with many shots on goal. Because shooting on goal is the most fun.

Marco: I really liked that session as well. It was the first time that Jan stood in front of a group and present something. In general, I find it very fascinating how the Young Coaches have come out of their shell, every day a little bit more. How they started coming up in front of the group, setting up and presenting great exercises. This was very valuable for us as a Tandem and I really enjoyed standing on the pitch with Jan.

Jan: I would like to continue like this. To create exercises together with my Dad and then also implement them with our team at home.

Marco: We will definitely plan some trainings together and then implement them in our inclusion-team. I potentially even see ourselves taking on a youth team after a while, because I think the tandem concept is very good. The Young Coaches get positive feedback from the whole group and can gain self-confidence by seeing that they can do it on their own. And you, as a Tandem Partner, are there to support, provide help and motivate in case they need it.

Jan: I learned a lot this week. My goal now is that more kids with Down Syndrome or other impairments can come to our trainings and have fun playing football.

Marco: I am very proud of my junior. To see him stand in front of a group of children he has never seen before, to explain and demonstrate exercises and even correct them at times, all that without his father by his side, that really made me proud.


Young Coaches

Our Young Coaches are community leaders and role models in less privileged societies. They commit themselves to support the children of their communities by conveying important social topics (conflict resolution, inclusion, HIV prevention, etc.) through football. Each of the Young Coaches represents a unique personal story.